I love Spring. There’s nothing better than a dose of gorgeous sunshine, cherry blossoms in bloom, and the tempting promises of Summer on the way. It’s the perfect time of year to throw open the windows, do some Spring cleaning and celebrate new beginnings. I also love the bountiful selection of fresh seasonal herbs and vegetables that come along with it.
Asparagus is in its prime now, so I wanted to create a light and savory chicken dish to complement it for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner – a twist on classic Chicken Saltimbocca with the addition of some cheesy goodness and bright lemony flavor.
I picked up some fresh lemons, thin chicken breast cutlets at the market along with some Italian Prosciutto, fresh sage and Provolone cheese to stuff them with. To start, I laid out the chicken breasts in a large baking pan and layered the ingredients on top – first a slice of Prosciutto topped with a few sage leaves and thinly sliced cheese. I then folded them over and secured them with toothpicks and seared them in a pan in olive oil to get a nice golden brown crust. Once the chicken breasts were browned, I set them back in the pan, poured the juices on top and finished in the oven for about 15 minutes.
The best part of this dish is the buttery lemon wine sauce for serving. I sliced up some garlic and sautéed it in olive oil for a minute or two, then added some chicken broth, white wine and let it come to a boil, then reduced the heat and simmered it down to reduce the sauce, stirred in some lemon juice, a nob of butter and set the sauce aside for drizzling on the chicken later.
While the chicken was roasting in the oven, I blanched the asparagus for a minute or two and then tossed it with sliced garlic, olive oil and sea salt, roasting it for about 10 minutes or so until tender. So easy and soooo good!
Once the chicken and asparagus were done roasting, I served them on a plate and finished them off with the buttery lemon wine sauce. If you want to add a starch to the meal, simply cook up some orzo, pasta or some crusty bread to go with it. You can also use Fontina cheese for a slightly different flavor, or to make it a vegetarian dish, omit the prosciutto and substitute some sautéed mushrooms or spinach and prepare the same way. Keep it light with a side salad and a lemony vinaigrette, and serve with a glass of Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris.
Here’s to Spring and the days leading up to Summer – Bon Appetit!
Prosciutto Sage Provolone Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Garlic Asparagus
- 4-6 chicken breast cutlets
- 4-6 thin slices of Italian Prosciutto
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 4-6 slices of Provolone or Fontina cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced plus 1 clove minced (for sauce)
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris)
- juice from half a lemon, plus 1 tablespoon zest for garnish
- 1 tablespoon butter
- lemon wedges and additional torn sage leaves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread out the chicken cutlets flat in a large baking dish, and season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.
- Layer on top of each chicken breast a slice of prosciutto, two sage leaves, and a slice of provolone or fontina cheese, then fold over the chicken in half and secure with a toothpick to secure.
- Heat 1 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high and sauté chicken breasts approximately 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Remove the chicken and juices from pan and place back into the baking dish and roast in the oven for another 15 minutes until cooked through. You might want to baste the chicken in its juices once or twice to make sure the chicken doesn’t dry out in the oven.
- Meanwhile, slice 2 cloves of fresh garlic, mince 1 clove and set aside. Trim the ends off the asparagus and blanch in boiling salted water in a large pot for about 1 minute. Drain, place asparagus in a baking dish and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper and sliced garlic. Place in oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes until fork tender and slightly browned (be careful not to overcook or the asparagus will get dark and mushy – aim for tender yet crisp and green).
- In the same sauté pan for the chicken, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the additional clove of minced garlic for about 1 minute until lightly golden and soft. Add the chicken broth, white wine, lemon juice and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. . Let sauce reduce to about half, then add 1 tablespoon of butter, swirling in to finish the sauce.
- When chicken and asparagus are done roasting, plate them and top off with the lemon butter wine sauce.
- Garnish with lemon wedges, torn sage leaves, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a side of cooked orzo or pasta, crusty bread or a green salad with a lemon vinaigrette and a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio.
Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini
This is an amazing dish that is popular in my hometown in Upstate Rochester, NY. The Italian-American immigrants first introduced this dish in NYC and then migrated Upstate. The recipe stems from the French Veal Francaise or Chicken Francaise dish, which uses lightly-floured thin veal or chicken cutlets, which are then coated with a parsley-parmesan cheese-egg mixture and sauteed until golden brown. The luscious sauce is made with garlic, butter, lemon, white wine or sherry, and parsley which is served over the top of the golden brown chicken. I decided to serve this with steamed broccolini, a Chinese broccoli that is similar to Broccoli Rabe, and topped it with the lemon butter sauce and an extra splash of fresh lemon juice for a light and healthy dinner.
This dish has a lovely tangy and buttery flavor with the lemon, wine and garlic, and the flour coating is super light as I made it with an ultra-fine flour (Wegman’s Pan-Searing Flour) or you could use Wondra, then seasoned it with salt and pepper and a hint of cayenne. If you want to use sherry instead of a white wine, this will give you a sweeter flavor to the sauce. I made my sauce with a Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which is light and fruity and gives it a nice semi-sweet tangy flavor.
Serve the chicken and broccolini with some crusty french bread or some pasta (with more lemon-butter sauce, parmesan cheese and parsley over the top!) and a glass of white wine. Enjoy!
Mince the parsley for the egg, cheese and parsley mix.
Prep the wet and dry ingredients to dip the chicken in (flour first, egg-cheese-parsley mixture second).
Saute the chicken in olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat for approx. 6 minutes on one side.
Flip chicken over and saute another 6 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside, covered in a foil tent.
Saute minced garlic for 1-2 minutes.
Add wine, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil.
Add broth and lemon juice and let cook for approx. 5-7 minutes to reduce liquid by half. Stir in cold butter and red pepper flakes.
Return chicken to the pan and bring to a boil, simmering for another 5-10 minutes to let liquid reduce further and infuse flavors in the chicken. Throw in some extra chopped parsley. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Insert steamer basket with broccolini and steam covered for about 5 minutes.
Remove cover and let cook over boiling water for another 5 minutes or so, until broccolini is fork tender but still bright green.
Plate the chicken and broccolini and spoon the lemon-wine-garlic butter sauce over the top of both. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Enjoy with a glass of white wine and some crusty Italian bread or pasta (with some of that luscious buttery-lemon-wine sauce over the top).
Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini
This is an amazing dish that is popular in my hometown in Upstate Rochester, NY. The Italian-American immigrants first introduced this dish in NYC and then migrated Upstate. The recipe stems from the French Veal Francaise or Chicken Francaise dish, which uses lightly-floured thin veal or chicken cutlets, which are then coated with a parsley-parmesan cheese-egg mixture and sauteed until golden brown.
The luscious sauce is made with garlic, butter, lemon, white wine or sherry, and parsley which is served over the top of the golden brown chicken. I decided to serve this with steamed broccolini, a Chinese broccoli that is similar to Broccoli Rabe, and then topped it with the lemon butter sauce for a fresh and healthy Sunday dinner. It has a lovely tangy and buttery flavor with the lemon, wine and garlic, and the coating is super light as I made it with an ultra-fine flour (Wegman's Pan-Searing Flour) or you could use Wondra, or a regular flour then season it with salt and pepper and a hint of cayenne.
If you want to use sherry instead of a white wine, this will also give you a sweeter flavor to the sauce. I made this with a Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc which is light and fruity and gives it a nice semi-sweet tangy flavor.
- CHICKEN FRENCH:
- 1/4 cup olive oil/canola oil blend for sauteing (I used Colavita Garlic Oil Blend)
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
- 2-3 eggs
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup of superfine flour (Pan Searing flour or Wondra)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine or sherry
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Juice from 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
- Lemon wedges, for garnish
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- LEMON BROCCOLINI:
- 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
- CHICKEN FRENCH:
- Heat oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper, cayenne and fresh parsley in a large mixing bowl.
- Place flour in another flat bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts, then dredge each one in flour first (left hand), then egg mixture (right hand).
- Place chicken into the heated saute pan and cook for 6 minutes on one side. Flip chicken over and saute for another 6 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from pan and set aside, covered with a foil tent.
- In the same skillet, saute the minced garlic for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Add the wine and bring liquid to a boil over high heat, scraping up the brown bits in the pan.
- Pour in the chicken broth and lemon juice and red pepper flakes (if using) and let reduce by half, another 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the butter and whisk until it melts.
- Add chicken back into the pan with the sauce and let simmer another 5-10 minutes.
- Place chicken on serving plate with the steamed broccolini and spoon lemon butter sauce over the top of both.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and additional chopped parsley if desired.
- LEMON BROCCOLINI:
- Steam broccolini for about 5 minutes, covered. Remove lid and steam for another 5 minutes until fork tender but still bright green.
- Top broccolini with Lemon Butter sauce, additional lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
Other recipes you may enjoy:
Closet Cooking’s Chicken Piccata
Martha Stewart’s Chicken Paillards in Lemon Butter Sauce
Good Food Ireland Authentic Irish Food
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Good Food Ireland (www.goodfoodireland.ie), the first-ever, all industry network driving food tourism in Ireland, offers the perfect online destination to shop, plan a food trip, obtain great Irish recipes and learn about authentic Irish food experiences. Good Food Ireland sets criteria for the “best in class” of Irish food and products and has created the Good Food Ireland Approved Provider status. There are over 450 Approved Providers that ensure consumers that all products and services meet the standards. At the newly redesigned website, www.goodfoodireland.ie you can:
- Plan a food journey to Ireland via “My Food Trip.” This feature is supported by a host of information including locations and details about hotels, restaurants, cookery schools, producer experiences, markets and festivals as well as an ongoing calendar of events. In addition, there’s the opportunity to meet the people behind the products. The feature allows the user to create, save and share their favorite food trip around Ireland. It’s like a wish list for the user when they come to Ireland.
- Shop for authentic Irish products at Good Food Ireland’s online store where Good Food Ireland Approved Provider foods are available for purchase 24-7 (LIVE early March 2013). All products are the highest quality food the island has to offer and include: Kilbeggan Organic Porridge, Ditty’s Oatcakes, Irish Farmhouse Cheese, Ballymaloe Relish, Burren Smoked Irish Salmon, Seymour’s Traditional Irish Shortbread and more.
- Find and create delicious contemporary Irish dishes at home with recipes from Ireland’s top chefs including Ed Cooney, Executive Head Chef of Dublin’s five star The Merrion Hotel, and a chef for the Obamas when they were in Ireland and Maurice Keller, Good Food Ireland Ambassador Chef. Some of the recipes include Bircher Muesli made with Irish Porridge Oats, Traditional Irish Stew, Brown Bread and Salmon Fishcakes.
“St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to learn about Ireland’s secret gems — its locally produced ingredients, great food and great people,” says Margaret Jeffares, founder and managing director of Good Food Ireland. “Good Food Ireland was created to make it easy for food lovers everywhere to travel to Ireland and to experience our bounty first-hand, but even if you can’t do that, we now offer some of our finest products, bearing the Good Food Ireland Approved Provider seal, here in the U.S. and are happy to share delicious recipes that can be enjoyed not only on St. Patrick’s Day but every day.”
I had the opportunity to meet the Good Food Ireland’s Ambassador Chef Maurice Keller, TV Personality Clodagh McKenna and Founder Margaret Jeffares at Dean & Deluca flagship store in Soho in New York City earlier this week for a special cooking demo and tasting event of some of their authentic Irish foods.
Below are some great photos of the event and the tasty Irish goods that I sampled, available at www.goodfoodireland.ie or at Dean & DeLuca:
Chef Maurice Keller
Good Food Ireland Chefs
Making Salmon Fishcakes
Chef Maurice Keller and Founder Margaret Jeffares
Ditty’s Celery & Sea Salt
Ditty’s Irish Oatcakes
Ditty’s Irish Oatcakes & Dubliner Irish Cheese
Burren Smoked Salmon & Irish Trout
Kilbeggan Irish Porridge & Seymours Biscuits
Smoked Salmon on Oatcakes
Dubliner Irish Cheese & Ballymaloe Relish on Oatcakes
Good Food Ireland also shared their recipe for the amazing Salmon Fishcakes and Irish Porridge so you can make some Irish goodies yourself for St Patty’s Day! enjoy.
2 shallots finely chopped
1 lb Salmon Filleted and skinned
Kerrygold Butter 1 Tablespoon
Dry White Wine 5 fl oz
Chopped Parsley 1 Tablespoon
Mashed Potatoes – no cream no butter
For the Coating:
2 Tablespoons Plain Floor
2 oz soft white Breadcrumbs
Pre-heat oven to 200c/400f gas 6
Butter and season a tray. Sprinkle with the shallots and sit the salmon on top. Drizzle with white wine and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes – the salmon should be firm to touch but still pink in the middle.
Sit the salmon in a colander over a pan to collect all the juices.
When all the juices have drained, place in a small pot and reduce on a stove to a nice syrup consistency.
Break up the salmon into flakes, add the syrup and chopped parsley, then fold in the potato until you have a binding texture. Check for seasoning and roll into 12 to 18 ball shaped cakes.
To Breadcrumb – Lightly pass through the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, repeat the process again.
To Cook – Deep fry at 180c/ 350f for 4-5 minutes drain well.
Serve 3 per portion on a bed of steamed baby spinach and lemon butter sauce.
Traditional Recipe Cooked with Water or Milk
Porridge Oats 2 oz
Milk 7 fl oz
Heat the milk, add porridge oats and cook for 1 min serve with honey or salt
Bircher Muesli made with Irish Porridge Oats
Porridge Oats 5oz
Irish Honey 1oz
Milk 20 fl oz
Natural Yogurt 14oz
Banana 1 whole chopped
Apple 1 Grated
Combine ingredients and devour!
Good Food Ireland Products
Ballymaloe Country Relish: A delicate balance of tomatoes and gentle spices, this delicious relish was created by Myrtle Allen of the famed Ballymaloe House in County Cork. It is made from only the finest ingredients, containing no artificial additives. The relish is extremely versatile and is excellent with beef burgers, French fries, cold meats, cheese, sausage rolls and salads. It is also wonderful in sandwiches or served with light meals, picnics or barbecues.
Burren Smoked Irish Salmon: All Burren Smoked Salmon is 100% Irish. It is farmed in the most pristine waters off the west coast of Ireland where there is no pollution. The entire smoking process, from filleting to packing is still done by hand in the small, family-owned smokery.
Cooleeney Cheese: Established in 1986. Jim and Breda Maher established Cooleeney Cheese on the family farm with the ambition to produce a range of artisan cheeses using the milk from their own Friesians. They launched their first cheese on the Irish market that same year and national and international awards over the next two years created a great awareness and interest in Cooleeney Farmhouse Cheese.
Ditty’s Irish Oatcakes: Handmade with rolled oats from County Armagh, these light, nutty, wholesome biscuits have a just-baked crispness. They are made by Ditty’s Home Bakery, a third-generation bakery based in Castledawson, Northern Ireland. The delicious biscuits that reflect a combination of sweet and savory flavors are handmade using only the finest locally-sourced ingredients.
Seymour’s Shortbread: Seymour’s biscuit bakery hand makes these Irish butter shortbread cookies with the finest Irish butter. They are created in Bandon, West Cork using local creamery butter, freshly delivered from the nearby co-op. The shortbread has a dense, crumbly texture but is not too sweet. It’s perfect for pairing with tea, hot chocolate or a glass of cold milk.
Kilbeggan Porridge: The oats in this “creamiest-ever porridge” are grown by fifth-generation farmers on the Lalor family farm in Kilbeggan, Ireland. Grown and processed naturally with no synthetic chemicals, this is perhaps the most delicious oatmeal you’ll ever eat.
About Good Food Ireland
Good Food Ireland is a grassroots industry network aimed at promoting innovations in Irish food, the country’s commitment to sustainable, authentic products across food, hospitality and travel industries – incorporating farmers, chefs, hoteliers and outposts of cultural interest. The organization seeks to promote its authentic products in the U.S. and to inspire Americans to travel to Ireland to experience the contemporary cuisine and engage with its citizens and culture. The cross section of agriculture, food & culinary, production/manufacturing and tourism industries seek to grow and sustain the Irish economy.
Margaret Jeffares, Founder & Managing Director of Good Food Ireland. Margaret’s career in tourism and hospitality has spanned almost 25 years. Living on a farm with her husband, Des, in Co. Wexford, she had a strong knowledge of the agri-food industry in Ireland. This combined with her experience in tourism led Margaret to identify a major gap in the market for the development of a strong food and tourism proposition for the island of Ireland. Therefore, she launched the all island umbrella brand “Good Food Ireland” and set the standard for Food Experience in Ireland.
Maurice Keller has travelled the world as Ambassador Chef with Good Food Ireland, showcasing the highest quality food that the island has to offer. Formerly, he was the chef-proprietor of Arlington Lodge Country House Hotel in Waterford City, Ireland. Having worked for many dignitaries, Maurice’s philosophy is simply based on using the best quality local produce he can find.
Clodagh Mc Kenna is a well known TV food personality and the familiar face of “Irish Food Trails” on PBS. She is also the author of four best-selling cookbooks that include Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries, The Irish Farmers’ Market Cookbook, Fresh from the Sea and Homemade. A trained chef from the famed Ballymaloe Cookery School, Clodagh will share her culinary vision regarding the incorporation of farm fresh produce.
Dean & DeLuca | 560 Broadway at Prince Street | SoHo NYC
Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata
I love waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and breakfast cooking in the kitchen. This is a delicious brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays and feeding a crowd. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bella mushrooms, garlic and dill, over a thin layer of torn whole grain bread (I use low carb bread and only 4-5 slices instead of a whole loaf of bread, and you can actually skip the bread all together if you want it to be more of a frittata), then topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Bake the casserole until its light and puffy, let cool and then serve cut into squares with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast. If you want to switch up the herbs, try Herbs de Provence or Fines Herbes instead. Experiment with different cheeses or meats if you like too (Brie, Monterey Jack, Bacon or Sausage), or spice it up with some red pepper flakes or a dash of Tabasco.What’s great is you can reheat it easily and have some yummy brunch/breakfast for a couple of days if you’re only cooking for a few people. Delish!
Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata: Best Brunch Casserole. EVER.
Author: Kristen Hess
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 4-5 slices of whole grain bread
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (or ½ teaspoon powder)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups of cubed ham
- 2 cups of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat a medium saute pan over medium heat.
- Tear bread into medium size pieces and layer in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ greased casserole dish.
- Whisk together eggs, milk and cream of mushroom soup in a large mixing bowl.
- Saute onions, garlic, ham, mushrooms and dill until soft and tender about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Layer the ham, mushroom and onion mixture over the bread in casserole dish.
- Top with egg mixture evenly.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top in an even layer.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until strata is puffy and cooked through.
- Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares for serving.
Recipe adapted from Taste and See, Calvary Chapel Finger Lakes.