Last Friday night the hubby-to-be and I had one of our patented meat-and-cheese dinners, this time with beer pairings (thank you, Big Jon and the staff at the Growler Station, for the idea). Although our cheese selections vary wildly, depending on what's in the "Bit Basket" at Whole Food or what looks intriguing at Trader Joe's, we generally buy the exact same two meats: 1/4 pound of chorizo, and 4 slices of prosciutto parma. Before you start to think we're on some kind of insane diet, let me point out that the prosciutto is typically $27/pound, and no, that's not a typo.
But for some unknown reason, the guy at the deli counter at Whole Foods sliced off a whole bunch of thick slices before doing our four requested thin slices. He put them off to the side, so we thought maybe they weren't good or something. But then he just gave them to us - for free! Being as I was rather doped up on cold medicine at the time, I don't exactly recall WHY he sliced all the extra prosciutto in the first place, much less gave it to us for free, but I wasn't arguing. It was something like $9 of free meat (plus what we actually paid for).
True to form, we only ate a little bit with our meat and cheese dinner, and I didn't want to let all that delicious prosciutto go to waste. B used some of it to make prosciutto and Gouda scrambled eggs on Saturday morning while I was having fun Nyquil-induced dreams (not), but we still had a lot left.
Enter stage right: Pinterest.
Turns out a while ago I had pinned a recipe to my "Nom Nom Nom" board (recipes I want to try) for prosciutto-wrapped chicken with rosemary. Not only did it sound delightful, but it also had that crucial ingredient - prosciutto. Sold. Plus, it solved the universal quandary of, "How do I use this giant Costco bag of frozen chicken breasts without making the same thing over and over again?"
Preheat the oven to 375. Slice two cloves of garlic very thinly (see above). Take a sprig of rosemary and shred the leaves off the stem. Chop the leaves finely. Add to a plastic bag (or a dish), along with 1/4 cup of olive oil and a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice.
Add your desired amount of chicken breasts (I sliced them length-wise to make them more like tenders) to the plastic bag or dish, and mash the oil mixture into the chicken really well. Here's the chicken below in the bag.
Take each chicken tender out of the bag. Place a whole sprig of rosemary on top, then wrap in prosciutto, like so (thanks to my B for the picture):
Place in a baking dish and cook for 35 minutes. Here are my darling little prosciutto chicken tenders ready to go in the oven:
While they baked, I made some mashed potatoes (oh, all right, I made the instant kind) and sauteed some spinach for side dishes. I always forget how good sauteed spinach is...I don't know why I don't make it more often. Note to self: remember that.
Anyway, once the chicken comes out of the oven, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the finished product before serving, and then eat and enjoy! I thought this was a particularly good recipe. The prosciutto basically acted like bacon, and formed a delicious crispy crust around the chicken. The rosemary gave it really good flavor, and the olive oil and lemon juice "marinade" (such as it is) helped keep everything from drying out. My only suggestion would be to maybe add some dry white wine to the marinade next time, and let it marinate a little longer. Otherwise, this was delicious, and wildly impressive-looking. B gave it the thumbs-up from the male contingent, so rest assured this meal is man-friendly.
If you want to see the original recipe, click here. Otherwise, scroll down to see it with my changes/additions.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Rosemary Chicken
2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
4 long pieces of prosciutto parma
5 full sprigs fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a plastic bag. Take one sprig of rosemary, shred the leaves off the stem, and chop finely. Add to the olive oil mixture.
Salt and pepper chicken breasts. Add to the bag, and mix and mash to make sure chicken is well-coated.
Remove a piece of chicken. Place a full sprig of rosemary on top, then wrap with a length of prosciutto.
Repeat until you've used up all the chicken breasts, rosemary sprigs, and prosciutto strips.
Place in baking dish and cook in oven for 35 minutes.
When chicken is finished, drizzle a little bit of balsamic vinegar over the top.
Eat, and enjoy!