Saturday, November 21, 2009


This brilliant, easier-than-pie little chicken recipe from The Hungry Mouse tastes about like what you'd expect, but that's hardly anything to be ashamed of when what you expect and receive is chicken wrapped in basil and thin, salty ham. For about the quickest chicken dish I can think of, the end result is disproportionately pretty, or at least it would have been if I hadn't found the paper-thin slices of Trader Joe's prosciutto so unexpectedly hard to manipulate without tearing (it was worse than working with phyllo!). I just ended up sort of hamhandedly (hee! sorry) draping them as best I could around the chicken, but they still cooked up elegantly, the prosciutto forming a crisp, translucent shell around the tender chicken.

This recipe is the perfect solution for when you want a little protein to accompany a more labor-intensive dish; I was desperate for arugula, potato, and green bean salad, which is, let's face it, kind of a lot of work for a salad, what with toasting the walnuts, boiling the potatoes and then the green beans, washing and drying the arugula, and making the dressing, so I wanted something with it that I could just throw in and out of the oven, and this fit the bill perfectly. I especially liked the more manageable two-bite, hand-holdable size of the little chicken tenders; sometimes I get daunted when faced with a huge slab of chicken breast that I have to saw my way through with a knife. These would probably be a hit with kids, or as part of a party spread.

An equivalent number of chicken breast tenders (or chicken breast sliced into strips), prosciutto slices, and large basil leaves; I used 8 of each
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Olive oil to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

2. Place a basil leaf atop each piece of chicken (it should mostly cover the chicken; if it’s too small, use two).

3. Starting at one end of a piece of chicken, wrap a slice of prosciutto around the chicken, keeping the basil in place. Set the wrapped chicken on your prepared baking sheet, and repeat with remaining chicken pieces.

4. Drizzle a little olive oil on each piece of chicken, then sprinkle with a little kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked (juices should run clear) and prosciutto is nice and crisp.

Serves: 3–4 as a main dish, more as an appetizer/snack
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Good; these reheat fairly well.

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