Chicken Saltimbocca In My Restaurant Kitchen

Chicken Saltimbocca

One of my favorite dishes to prepare during my restaurant days was a  Chicken Saltimbocca, it contained different components that came together in a symphony of flavors that truly did “jump in your Mouth”, at least according to the literal translation!

Today I begin a new segment for my blog, In my Restaurant Kitchen.   I like to think of this as a different aspect of Ask Chef Dennis, this segment leaning more towards the culinary side of blogging.   I have been deluged with technical data and the truth of the matter is sometimes it just gives me a headache………sigh

In this segment I will discuss  culinary techniques, recipes and tips on how to work with the ingredients you have on hand, and how to get more out of them.

Today were going to talk about chicken and it’s  versatility.  When I first started in the industry many years ago, Veal was king in the Italian restaurant, and the many dishes I prepared with it, saw the transformation into the same dish prepared with chicken.  The substitution was seamless in almost all instances, and of course was less expensive than veal, which was a good thing for the consumer.   Even today chicken is one of the best values in the meat department.

Now this brings me to a question I always have,  as a chef and a manager, I have always done the purchasing where I work, and while some items I buy can be found cheaper in Supermarkets,  there are two items that I buy that just make me cringe when I see the prices.  One is just about anything you buy in the deli (which I can almost understand because of waste) and the other is Chicken breasts.   I buy fresh chicken breasts for school, and they normally run me $1.49 -$1.99 a pound, yet when I buy them at the supermarket, they price gets inflated to $4.99-$5.99 per pound, the mark up on chicken breasts is mind boggling.   And let’s not even think about organic free range chicken,  the prices are substantially higher!

But now friends we have an option, most supermarkets have started selling many different items in what they call club packs.  This seems to be there attempt to regain sales loss to wholesale clubs, and can offer great savings.    Chicken breasts once again become economical when purchases this way.   Now granted that can be a  lot of chicken, especially if there are only two of you, but thinking outside the box and more importantly working your ingredients to your advantage, will make your dishes a hit without having you run around town, or spend more money on exotic ingredients.   Over the next few weeks we’ll talk more about your options and how I would go about creating specials in my restaurant.   When I make meals at home, I don’t think in terms of  home cooking, I always think in terms of menu items that I would serve to paying customers (Lisa is very happy with this philosophy!)

Now some meals are planned out ahead of time, with specific ingredients in mind.   Other times  I open the refrigerator and look around, hoping to find something I forgot I bought (since I do all the shopping its rare that I’m surprised), then I look in my pantry (OMG where did all that stuff come from), then I decide what would work together to make a tasty creative meal.   The secret of my success in restaurants has always been my ability to make many different types of meals using the same ingredients.  Ninety percent of my Mise en Place (everything in its place) always contained the same prepped ingredients, with some variations for specials.  This is where blending and pairing of ingredients come into play, and this is the secret to preparing meals without breaking the bank.

Some of the ingredients we use in restaurants have very specific purposes, while others are fillers used to bulk up a dish without bulking up the cost.   Mushrooms have always been a favorite of mine for this purpose,   and or course pasta, rice or grains take up a lot of room on the plate and can a meal much more enticing.

Chicken Saltimbocca

For my first entry into My Restaurant Kitchen I’m making one of my favorites chicken saltimbocca, it was always one of my more popular dishes, no matter where I worked.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

5.0 from 12 reviews
Chicken Saltimbocca
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 slices of proscuitto
  • 3 oz. fontina cheese shredded
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 6 oz cello pack of baby spinach
  • 6 oz sweet marsala
  • 6 ounces chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • splash of heavy cream or half and half
  • pinch of ground sage
  • pinch of black pepper
  • Olive oil to saute spinach and chicken
Instructions
  1. pound chicken breasts with the flat side of a meat hammer
  2. dredge chicken breasts in flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  3. place floured breasts in a large saute pan with enough olive oil to saute chicken breasts.
  4. Cook chicken 5 minutes on each side and remove from the pan.
  5. add a little more olive oil to the pan and add in the sliced mushrooms and saute until soft
  6. Add all but 2 ounces of marsala wine wine to pan to deglaze the pan, allow alcohol to cook off for a minute then add the chicken stock, pinch of sage, pinch of black pepper and place chicken breasts back into the pan.
  7. reduce heat and continue to cook while sauce is reducing.
  8. once sauce has started to reduce add in cream and mix well.
  9. Take the butter and coat it in flour pressing flour into the butter and add to the sauce (this is called a beurre manie) it will thicken the sauce and the butter will impart a rich flavor
  10. as the sauce begins to thicken remove from the heat.
  11. Place chicken breast in a baking dish and top with a slice of proscuitto and the shredded fontina cheese
  12. Place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted
  13. In another saute pan add in a little olive oil and the baby spinach, saute until completely cooked and set aside (make sure you drain off any extra oil)
  14. -3 minutes before the chicken breasts are done, start to slowly reheat the marsala sauce and spinach.
  15. At this time add in the remaining Marsala wine
  16. On a serving platter or individual plates set up the dish
  17. Sauteed spinach, chicken breast then top with mushrooms and marsala sauce
  18. serve with rice or a grain of your choice.
Notes
;*you can use mozzarella instead of fontina, this will keep the cost down. * sweet marsala will have a nuttier flavor and makes a much better sauce, everyone will tell you to use dry, I never have. Pellingrino is the best Marsala if you can find it. *reserving some of the marsala until the final minutes before serving will enhance the flavors by allowing the marsala flavor to be more prominent in the dish

 

Thanks for stopping by today for the first installment of In My Restaurant Kitchen,  I hope you enjoyed the recipe and the tips.   Please do try the saltimbocca, its a classic dish that you just don’t see very often anymore, but I guarantee it will turn just another night into a special occasion!

Have a happy week my friends, do get out and enjoy the weather as we count down to Labor day!

Till next time!

Dennis

Comments

  1. Great first segment Chef Dennis. My only issue is none of us like mushrooms. Could I substitute something else in it’s place? I am going to enjoy getting to know the ins and outs of the culinary world. Keep them coming my friend. I love reading your blog.

    • hi Kim
      you can leave out the mushrooms all together, that’s not a problem. As for adding something else in it’s place, I don’t see to many items filling in for the mushrooms, and since we already have spinach on the plate, it would be fine without them!
      Dennis

  2. What a great way to kick off your new segment! I love chicken saltimbocca and yours looks so good!

  3. This is a great dish! Saltimbocca is one of my favorites! I have to admit to never having served it with mushrooms, tho. I agree…chicken breasts are crazy expensive. I buy mine in bulk and re-wrap and freeze

  4. Saltimbocca is such a great dish. I always think there is a reason why dishes last such a long time.
    I never really thought about how many dishes we make from a set of Mise en Place. An excellent idea for a series.

  5. I love the new segment. Sharing your experience makes for great reading. The Chicken Saltimbocca looks amazing and will be on my table very soon.

    Tanya
    http://www.3-squaremeals.com

  6. I really enjoyed your new segment!

    I’m able to find chicken for $1.88 a lb but it comes in 8+ packs and there tends to be lots of waste. It’s surprisingly tender and delicious though compared to the organic, no-additive, no antibiotic chicken that I used to buy at the posh store that seemed to be always dry and have a strong chickeny flavor to it.

    Dish looks great and right up my ally – I’ll have to make it sometime. I love mushrooms!

  7. That is the tastiest looking saltimbocca I’ve ever seen!! Printed off to try. Always a joy to visit your blog, Dennis!

  8. Morning! I like the new segment and the recipe! Kudos..

  9. Great idea, Dennis, with your Restaurant Kitchen! One of my favs is Saltimbocca – also adore Fontina but frustrating can’t easily get a hold of it here. Interesting note on the sweet marsala. I use the dry one (also Pellingrino), only so that I can have a wee swig of it while cooking. ;-)

  10. That is a tasty looking dinner! I see there’s some spinach under there, I absolutely adore spinach and think it would go very well with the cheese and mushroom of this dish.

  11. I loved this new feature, Chef! This is going to be fun. I have made a version of Chicken Saltimbocca that is completely unlike yours. While we love our version, yours looks even better. I cannot wait to give yours a try. With the mushrooms and the cheese and marsala, my husband will hurt himself when I serve this. Thanks so much for sharing it! It’s getting pinned for sure.

  12. Great post, Chef!!! I have been wanting to make some chicken saltimbocca for a while since I saw it on a magazine cover a few months ago. Now after seeing yours, I need to make this SOON! I love this new segment on your blog! What you said about the price of chicken is so true. I buy ours in bulk and just freeze it!

  13. Chef Dennis, once again you have actually made my mouth water! I can not believe how amazing this looks. I adore mushrooms and I’m pretty certain this might be the most tempting dish I’ve seen in a long time.

    I love this new section on the blog!

  14. Chicken is also expensive in Toronto. I love mushrooms, and have some I need to use right now, so this recipe came to us just in the nick of time. It has all the flavours both my hubby and I love!

  15. it looks great Chef Dennis, and i look forward your tips about cooking thecniques and so on:)

  16. Chef Dennis,
    I think ‘In my Restaurant Kitchen’ is a great idea! Can’t wait to learn from you. Have a wonderful day!

  17. Great idea for a new segment! Looking forward to it…

  18. Who wouldn’t like this? It is Great recipe, and you made fantastic photographs, making this meal even more appealing and delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  19. Dennis, this sounds amazing! I can never get over the mark-up–it’s pretty ridiculous.

  20. Oh heavens, that looks delicious Dennis! I have never tried Chicken Saltimbocca; not sure why. But looking at this and reading the recipe, It is going on my menu for this weekend.

  21. In someone’s restaurant, I understand sometimes needing to be more economical. But the only cooking of animals that i respect is one that is done with organic, free-range (hopefully local) chickens. They may cost an astronomical amount, but it’s worth it.

    This dish does look amazing and I can’t wait to pass it along to friends. But I will also suggest that they get animals that have been treated properly… no matter what the cost is.

    • I do understand your point Brian, and while I wish it was always possible to buy free range meats, I can’t always accomplish this. I wish there were more sources and more of a market for the products which would help bring the prices down. Free range and organic should be the first choice of any shopper, choices shouldn’t have to be made because of pricing.

      Thank you for making a very valid point, I always appreciate your comments.

  22. I love your idea for this new series. I used to work in restaurants (front of the house) but always wanted to get a chance to work in the kitchen too. Now, I only cook for my small family of four, but I think I still take what I learned in my restaurant experience when I’m cooking for my family. I am always looking for something new to do with chicken. Thanks for the idea and a great post!!!

  23. Chef,
    this a great new feature that will help all of us out in the culinary sides of our blogs and kitchens, I’m always looking for another new chicken recipe. Congrats on the Top 9 today!

  24. Chef Dennis…this is a great dish to start off your first segment of your In My Restaurant Kitchen and I am looking forward to the coming ones…lots to learn from you :) I will definitely love this Chicken Saltimbocca and will be trying out this recipe. Wild Boar will be in for a surprise soon ! :p Thanks and btw Congrats on the Top 9 today :)

  25. One of my favorite dishes for chicken or pork! I’m looking forward to trying your take on it :-)

  26. E’ Da un po’ che non passavo a farti visita, il tuo nuovo blog è a dir poco favoloso.
    Ho appena letto le tue ultime due ricette, sono favolose, ora vado leggermi cosa mi sono persa.
    Ciao Daniela.

  27. Your food recipe and layout is an art!
    Congrats on being Foodbuzz #1!!

  28. This is awesome. Great first entry Chef Dennis! I am so excited to see how this new portion of your blog is going to go. You always have the best tips and are so very thorough. Thanks for being awesome as always!

    Your chicken looks very tasty. I think I should try this and try it very very soon. I love the mushrooms on top. One of my favorite ingredients with chicken.

  29. This is my kind of recipe! Great idea of a series.

  30. One of the first things I ate when I moved to Rome was saltimbocca. I thought I had died and woken up in heaven. It truly was one of the most amazing flavors i had ever tasted. Over the next ten years I explored the entirety of Italian culinary genius, but you never forget your first time, right? Thanks for the memories, chef! Congrats, of course, on the Top 9!

  31. My mouth is watering I do not care for sage what could I use as a sub?

  32. Great dish Chef…

    It seems like Chicken is much more expensive in England. So is Beef, so is lamb, so is pork…
    and probably fish is the most expensive ingredient here. Sometimes i forget that we live in island. :))))

    I’ll be following your new segment with interest and good luck. One thing is sure that photography will be excellent.

  33. Great new segment, and a fantastic meal to start with. I think I will be making this one soon.

  34. Beautiful dish Chef! I am floored by prices lately – and not just on chicken. But on everything. I read a report earlier in the year about the inexcusable increase in markets over the last five years and how it is just going to continue to rise. Nothing like stimulating the economy huh? It’s just the two of us 99% of the time here, but I always buy in bigger packs and break them down into portions we can use – freezing the leftovers. It just saves in the long run.
    Can’t wait to see what your bring us next!

  35. I’ve never heard of beurre manie. How can you be sure the sauce doesn’t have that raw-flour taste you get if you don’t cook a rioux long enough?

    • your not putting that much flour into the dish, like with a roux. I have been using this method for 30 years without ever having it leave a raw flour taste. If anything you get more of the butter flavor, the flour just helps pull it together. The trick is just pushing flour into the outer part of the butter, kind of rolling it in the flour while getting as much in the butter as you can.
      I’ve used this with all types of dishes and sauces.

  36. I love the new segment Dennis! And what a way to start it off – I’m a big fan of saltimbocca and this sounds like a definitely winner to me =)

  37. I love the new series chef. Thank you for generously sharing your skills and knowledge. Homecooks like me appreciates the learning I could get from your series. It will help me infuse a littlle sophistication into our daily cooking. I know my family will enjoy new dishes that I could get from here.

    xo,
    Malou

  38. Loving this new segment! Of course the dish is delightful!! I feel your pain on grocery prices. Sigh.

  39. I’m not feeding a restaurant or a school, just my family of five. We also have a lot of relatives and we are always hosting dinners and parties at our house. Actually, maybe I am a restaurant? But, I pay for it all!! I have an extra fridge in the garage specifically for stocking up on meat that’s on sale. Whole roasting chickens for 69¢/pound, B/S chicken breast for $1.88/lb, tri-tip for $1.99/lb…. and on and on. I only pay full price during an emergency cooking situation! Lovely recipe!

  40. Love how you’ve presented a restaurant-style dish for home cooks! I try to avoid boneless skinless chicken breasts, but my kids love ‘em. IMHO, pounding them is the way to go to for even cooking and tender texture. I’ve never cooked with Marsala and would love to give it a try.

  41. I made this tonight for our Friday night supper. We loved it. Thanks so much.

  42. I was searching for a recipe for this and found yours. I know it will be fantastic so this is the one I’m going to make!

  43. mm. I love chicken Saltimbocca, but mine is never as pretty as this!

  44. Oh my, this looks fabulous! Definitely going to try it soon. Fontana cheese is hard to find here, any thoughts on a good substitute?

    • I have used Mozzarella, that works well with the dish, you just want a cheese that melts well and doesn’t over power the dish.

  45. this looks amazing. I love fontana cheese and anything w mushrooms and wine works for me

  46. Chef, I just made this for dinner tonight….outstanding!!! Thanks for the recpe!

  47. Can I saute the chicken and mushrooms first then hold it for an hour or so and then bake it in the oven would that be ok. It is a time thing for me

  48. yes you can , just don’t cook the chicken all the way, I would top it with everything, reserve the sauce. heat it up at 350 for 15 minutes or until 165 degrees then top with the hot sauce when you serve it.

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