Monday, July 25, 2011

Delicious and Healthy Italian Dish

I know it's been a while since I've posted. I haven't really cooked all that much since I've been back in Dallas. However, now that the fiance and I have moved into our new home it will be hard to keep me out of the kitchen. It is so much more fun to cook in AND we bought a French door refrigerator that I am absolutely in love with!
One of the first meals I cooked when we moved in last week was a dish I found on the Cooking Light website. I find some of the greatest recipes from there and it is the magazine subscription I have had for years and will never give up! Here is the recipe, with my caveats and additions of course. It's really easy to make and is only 202 calories per serving (this was just for the chicken). I added angel hair pasta and capers to this dish and doubled the amount of sauce, which made it a delicious Italian meal that reminded me of chicken picatta.

Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca
Fire Level: yellow

  • 1 (4-ounce) chicken cutlets (I used small boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Keep in mind the calorie count for this recipe calls for a 4 oz breast, which is small)

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 12 fresh sage leaves

  • 2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto (cut into 8 strips)

  • 2 teaspoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), divided

  • 2/3 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

  • 2 tabelspoons capers (this is my addition and it really made the dish!)

  • Lemon wedges (optional)

  • Shredded parmesan cheese (if you can freshly grate it, even better! - this is also my addition)

  • Angel Hair Pasta (this is my addition as well and is how I made it into an easy Italian meal)

Step 1: Prep the Chicken
Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Place 3-5 sage leaves (depending on the size of your breast) onto the top of each breast. Then, take a strip of prosciutto and wrap it around the breast, securing the sage leaves between the two meats. If you have to, you can use toothpicks to keep the prosciutto in place, but I don't suggest it. It's ok if it doesn't look perfect, that's when it usually tastes better anyway! :)

Step 2: Prep the Water
Put water in a pot on the stove to begin boiling for your pasta.

Step 3: Cook the Chicken
While the water is heating up, we will begin to cook our chicken. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Swirl the oil around the pan to coat it. When you feel some heat coming from the pan, place your chicken into the pan. Cook the chicken on each side until it is done. The recipe says two minutes on each side, but since I used breasts instead of cutlets it took longer than that. What I like to do to determine when the chicken is done, is pay attention to the sides of the breasts. When your chicken is cooking, you will see the sides of the breast begin to turn white as the bottom cooks and the cooking moves up toward the middle of the breast. When it is about to the center, flip the chicken breast over onto the raw side. The cooked side should be a golden brown. Cook the breasts on the opposite side for the same length of time and your chicken will then be cooked all the way through. You can double check it by poking the breast at its thickest point with some tongs. It should be firm.

When the chicken is finished, put on a plate and stick in the microwave to keep it warm while you finish the dinner. Do NOT put the pan in sink or clean it. Keep it on the stove.

Step 4: Pasta
While your chicken is cooking, the water should have started to boil and you can throw in your pasta. Cook it to package directions, usually about 7-10 minutes for angel hair.

Step 5: Make the Sauce
Combine the broth, lemon juice, and corn starch in a small bowl. Add this mixture and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan the chicken was cooked in. With a whisk, stir the mixture, making sure to get all of the chicken remnants from the bottom of the pan and mixed into the sauce. Bring to a boil and then stir constantly with a whisk until the sauce has slightly thickened. Stir in the capers for just 30 seconds or so to get them mixed into the sauce and warmed up.

Step 6: Plate and Enjoy!
Place the angel hair pasta onto a plate and put a chicken cutlet/breast on top of the pasta. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and pasta, sprinkle with some parmesan, and enjoy! You could also put a lemon wedge on the plate in case you want to add a squeeze during dinner to kick up the sauce a little.

Optional Sides: I would suggest serving with garlic bread, but since we are trying to eat healthy, I served this dish with a tossed vinaigrette salad and it was perfect. See earlier posts for a great vinaigrette. I will be posting another recipe for dressing soon too.

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