Whew. Tonight’s meal was rather involved. A solid hour and a half of on-my-feet cooking featuring a need to have five pans warming at one time (something I can’t do on our stove, so something had to give). But, it was rather worth it. After our week of Hugh, I decided to go with another of our favorite cooks, Virginia Willis and her book Bon Appetit, Y’all. Thumbing through the book I found a great recipe for chicken saltimbocca with country ham that looked too good to pass up.
Boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded thin
Leaves of fresh sage
Paprika, Ground Red Pepper, Red pepper flake to taste
Country Ham to cover
Flour (with pepper) to dredge
Canola oil for frying
Start by seasoning with chicken with the spices, but do not salt (you’re going to cover it with country ham, so…). Place the chicken in a plastic freezer bag to protect it while pounding thin with a meat tenderizing mallet. Pound until 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Place enough fresh sage leaves on the top of the chicken to cover and then place the county ham, to cover on top of that and press and refrigerate. The best ham I was able to find was still somewhat thick, thinner would be better. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
When ready to cook the chicken, dredge in the peppered flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the chicken, ham side first for about three minutes.
It will be delicious. Look to Willis’s book for more tips on how to liven up this dish, including a nice sauce.
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbls butter
2 ears corn
1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic
Fresh rosemary and thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbls butter
1 tbls canola oil
Of course, I had to go my own way at make a risotto to go with it.
I’ve talked about risotto in earlier blogs and the method is pretty straightforward. The only thing different here is I added a nice succotash to go in it.
Succotash, at its heart, is a dish made with corn and lima beans–the fresher the better. Since we are at the height of corn season in GA, that part wasn’t hard, but the limas had to be frozen. Sad
When cutting the corn, the easiest way to remove the kernels is with a large chef’s knife. Cut the corn flat on the cutting board and cut the one side straight down and turn to cut all sides. Once the kernels are removed, milk the cob by scraping the knife against down the cob lengthwise.
Begin cooking the beans by covering with water and heat over medium high heat to boil for about 15 minutes, drain. Add the butter and oil, to the pan and add the garlic, herbs, and spices. Stir in the corn and the beans and continue cooking for about 15 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Add the tomato and stir before removing from heat.
Stir the succotash into the risotto (in which ever amount your desire) at the same stage as the parmesan cheese. It should be creamy, but have a nice bright summer flavor that will compliment the sage in the chicken saltimbocca.
Bacon Garlic Green Beans
3 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 pound green beans, tips snapped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth.
Start by cooking the bacon over medium heat until the a sufficient amount of fat has rendered out. Add the onion and garlic and cooked until the onions sweat, about five minutes. Add the beans and saute for about three minutes before adding the broth. Once the broth boils, lower the heat to medium low, cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
The beans will still be crunchy, but will have a nice savory flavor. They worked great with the risotto flavors.
All told, this was a wonderful meal, but it took some time and work. Definitely a great distraction after a long day and a good way to be sure to get a good night’s sleep.
Hope you enjoy!