Saturday, March 27, 2010

Taleggio-Stuffed, Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken

This chicken dish is quite easy to make (though you'll find the cheese, because it's soft, sticky and a bit cumbersome to stuff the chicken with - it's worth it).  The added bonus is you can make it ahead of time.  And, of course, it looks beautiful and tastes just lovely. And, your dinner guests will be impressed.

The two side dishes with this are potato pavé and roasted asparagus ... email me if you want the potato recipe. Or, just Google one. It's pretty easy to make, but you must start at the beginning of the day to allow it all the proper stages of cooking, cooling, cutting and then crisping. 
 Ingredients (serves 6, but it's very easy to just make one or how ever many you need!):

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped tarragon
  • 12 slices of prosciutto
  • 6 generous slices of taleggio (get a piece from the cheese monger about the size of 2 decks of cards)
  • salt & pepper
  1. Using a long thin (and sharp) knife, cut a pocket into the chicken breast, being careful not to make extra holes ... just the one to make the pocket! Do this by inserting the knife into the meatiest part of the breast and take the knife almost to the other side of the chicken. You want to create as large a pocket inside with a small opening (just big enough to put your finger in).
  2. Stuff each chicken pocket with 1/6 of the taleggio. It's a soft cheese so this will take some time to work into the hole.
  3. Lay 2 pieces of prosciutto out, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle 1/6 of the tarragon across the middle. Place the stuffed chicken on top and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the chicken in the prosciutto. Repeat with all 6. 
  4. Heat oven to 375F. Heat a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add about 1 tbsp canola oil until hot but not smoking. Sear the chicken on each side until the prosciutto is just crisping and getting colour, abut 1-2 minutes on each side. They won't be cooked through at this stage. Transfer the chicken breasts to a baking sheet.
  5. Cook the chicken in the oven until internal temperature is 165F, about 8-10 minutes. The chicken will also feel firm but not hard when you squeeze it with tongs. Some of the cheese will have leaked out (depending how well you stuffed those pockets and wrapped them up!), so be sure to spoon the extra cheese onto the plate when you serve. Yum!

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