PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED-MOZZARELLA STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

It was Junior’s first night home following his freshman year at university, so I wanted to make it special–and put a little weight on him in the process (he did not gain the “Freshman 15”). This meal was a winner all around–hearty, delicious, and easy to make. Thumbs up times four!

Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 cup fresh baby spinach

6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced about 1/4″ thick

2 tbsp basil paste (or a handful of fresh basil leaves)

8 slices prosciutto

2 cups marinara sauce (jarred)

1/4 cup white wine (or cooking wine)

1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2) Cut large slit in each chicken breast and assemble each as follows, dividing ingredients equally between breasts: place spinach on bottom half, followed by mozzarella and a spread of basil paste; fold top half over bottom

3) Wrap each chicken breast in two slices of prosciutto and place in large casserole dish; bake in oven 20-25 minutes until chicken is just done all the way through

4) Meanwhile, in medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cooking wine and marinara sauce

5) Pour wine-marinara sauce over chicken and bake additional 5 minutes; remove from oven, sprinkle shaved parmesan and parsley over top, and serve with a garden salad

Servings: 4

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PROSCIUTTO-SAGE WRAPPED CHICKEN BREASTS

Relax! This beautiful entree is much easier to make than it looks. and it has something else going for it: taste. The combination of chicken, prosciutto, sage, provolone, and cream cheese is delicious. True, Junior Too was seen scraping out the cream cheese (I pretended I didn’t notice), but it’s definitely a “thumbs up” recipe.

4 large chicken breasts

4 oz cream cheese

4 minced sage leaves

8 whole sage leaves

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

8 prosciutto slices (about 5 oz)

4 slices provolone cheese

2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp minced parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2) Butterfly chicken breasts and lay chicken open

3) In small bowl, mix cream cheese, minced sage, salt, and pepper; set aside

4) On cutting board, assemble each chicken breast as follows: slightly overlap 2 prosciutto slices, place 2 sage leaves, end to end, down center of prosciutto slices; lay butterflied chicken breast on prosciutto,centering one side of chicken breast over sage leaves; place provolone slice on one side of chicken breast and spread a quarter of the cream cheese mixture on opposite side; fold sides together, enclosing filling; wrap prosciutto slices around chicken breast

5) To large oven-safe skillet (cast iron is perfect), add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat; place wrapped chicken breasts (prosciutto seam-side down) in skillet; cook 3 minutes on each side until browned; transfer skillet to oven and cook 13-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through; remove from oven and sprinkle with minced parsley; serve!

Servings: 4

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 06/01/12