Have you ever heard of Chicken Saltimbocca? During my restaurant days, it was one of my favorite dishes to prepare.
This saltimbocca dish is an Italian classic that contains different components — from crispy, salty prosciutto and moist, juicy chicken to a luscious and velvety wine-infused sauce — that come together in a symphony of flavors that truly do “jump in your mouth.” It’s a dish that lives up to its literal translation!
When I first started working in an Italian kitchen, Saltimbocca was made with veal cutlets, but these days chicken has replaced veal in just about every dish it used to be made with.
If you love delicious chicken dishes make sure to try my Chicken Sorrento.
Ingredients to make chicken saltimbocca
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make a Chicken Saltimbocca. In Chef Speak this is called the Mise en Place which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Do I Need to add mushrooms to Chicken Saltimbocca?
No, you don’t. This is your dinner, and you should always make it with ingredients you enjoy eating.
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 pasta, rice, or grains take up a lot of room on the plate and can make a meal much more enticing.
What type of Marsala should I use?
The first thing to remember when looking for Marsala wine to cook with is if you have a choice between dry or sweet, always choose sweet. The wine is not actually sweet but adds a more complex flavor profile.
This is going to go against everything you read from other chefs and publications. But this is the reason my Marsala Sauce is so much better than the rest.
My favorite Marsala will always be Pellegrino, my other recommendations are:
If you can only get dry, don’t worry. The sauce will still be delicious.
The first step is to lightly coat the skinless chicken breasts (or chicken cutlets, which are halved chicken breasts) in flour seasoned with sea salt and black pepper.
Add olive oil to a large skillet that has been preheated and place chicken in a single layer in the hot pan. Saute the breasts on one side for 2-3 minutes, then turn to the other side.
When you turn the chicken breasts over, add the sliced mushrooms to the pan. If you need additional olive oil, add it now.
**Mushrooms will soak up the oil as they cook.
When the mushrooms are fully cooked and both sides of the chicken have been seared, move the pan off the heat and add the Marsala. This is a good time to add the seasonings to the pan.
This will deglaze the pan, unsticking all the delicious little bits that have stuck during the cooking process.
The next step is adding the chicken stock and cream to the pan. Simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken.
While the sauce is reducing, saute (or steam) the spinach in another pan.
The next step is to add the beurre manie (softened butter rolled in flour). This will help thicken the sauce.
Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat down to low and add two very thin prosciutto slices and shredded (or sliced) Fontina cheese on top of each cutlet (or full chicken breast).
Cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt.
Also, check that the temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit using an instant-read thermometer.
Place a portion of the sauteed spinach on a plate and cover on edge with the finished chicken breast.
Add a splash of marsala to the sauce to bolster the flavor, and spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the chicken breast.
**If the sauce is too thick or looks oily, add a little water (or stock) to the pan.
To store, place chicken that has cooled to room temperature in an airtight container or wrap tightly with pieces of plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What to Serve with Chicken Saltimbocca
For side dishes, I’m a huge fan of green vegetables (even though there’s already spinach), like roasted green beans or brussels sprouts, but I also love starches like roasted potatoes, mushroom risotto, or a big piece of warm, crusty bread with butter.
If you’re looking for a good wine pairing for this traditional Italian dish, try a dry white wine like Pinot Grigio or a crisp sauvignon blanc.
This traditional Italian dish is made with seared chicken and prosciutto and is predominantly seasoned with sage. It is also smothered in an incredible wine sauce that can incorporate any varietal from sauvignon blanc to Marsala.
Saltimbocca hails from Italy. Its origins are associated with the region around Rome.
No, you don’t. A slice of prosciutto or two enhances the flavor of the dish, but If you don’t like prosciutto, leave it out. Or, use ham for a flavor combination that is somewhat similar to chicken cordon bleu.
Yes, you can. Traditionally, Fontina is used, but another soft and mild flavored cheese could be used.
Here are some suggestions– Gruyere, Emmental, Provolone or Gouda can be used instead of Fontina.
More Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!
When it comes to Italian deliciousness, chicken saltimbocca lives up to its name. It literally means “explodes in your mouth,” and this flavorful chicken dish will not disappoint!