This is the recipe that first opened my eyes to using fresh basil, actually any fresh herb. It made me realize that nothing beats the real thing. Which is true of all foods, in my opinion. The flavours are so much richer and add so much more pizzaz when you use fresh herbs over dried, in most cases. I now have a basil plant growing in my house and I am trying desperately to keep it alive despite my black thumb. Now I just have to find more ways to use it. For, man cannot live on Cordon Bleu alone (although I might like to).
This dish tastes high class without the massive bill or hours of preparation. You may not have everything on hand but it is worth a run to the grocery store. Prosciutto should be easily found in the deli section, just make sure to ask for the thinest slice possible. You can sub another kind of deli ham if needed, but prosciutto is like the bacon of luncheon meats and who wants regular ham when you can have bacon! Plus, you only need as many slices as servings you are making so it should not be too expensive.
Anybody have some favourite uses for fresh basil? (besides pesto) :)
- 4 chicken breasts
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- A handful of chopped fresh basil
- Butterfly chicken and pound very thin (1/4 inch). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Layer prosciutto, cheese and a sprinkling of basil on top.
- Roll up lengthwise and secure with toothpicks or baking twine. *
- Preheat a large pan over med-high heat. Add some oil and sear the chicken on all sides until crisp. (Do not cook through this is only to get the outside crispy)
- Place in a 9×13 pan and bake for 15 min at 425ºF (220ºC), or until chicken is cooked through.
- When I am just making this for my family I do not bother with the toothpicks or twine. I just wrap it up and stick it in the pan seam side down first so that it sears shut.
- Slice the chicken at a sharp angle for a pretty presentation.
Adapted from Rachael Ray.
Next week I am starting my (Canadian) Thanksgiving countdown! So, expect lot’s of goodies to include in your Thanksgiving spread.