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frying Italian
Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Sage Pesto

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


This is basically a quick version of saltimbocca, the classic Italian dish of veal rolls, but made with chicken in place of veal. The name means “jump in the mouth,” referring to the surprise of flavors the rolls contain. This recipe is one of the few in this book that calls for a very specific ingredient. The ingredient is sage pesto, and as far as I know, Rustichella d’Abruzzo, imported by Manacaretti, is the only brand that makes it. If you can’t find it, arugula or artichoke pesto would be a good alternative.

Cooking time: 25 Minutes


  • ½ cup canola oil (or other neutral-flavored oil), plus extra for coating the chicken breasts
  • 4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves
  • 4 large slices prosciutto, not too thinly sliced (about 3 ounces)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups loosely packed mixed baby greens
  • Sea salt
  • 1/3 cup Rustichella d'Abruzzo Sage Pesto
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • Lemon-infused olive oil (or high quality extra virgin olive oil combined with a pinch of fresh grated lemon zest), for drizzling


Rub canola oil on both sides of the chicken breasts and place each breast in a separate sandwich-size plastic bag. Use a mallet or heavy skillet to pound each chicken breast until it's about ½ inch thick and has roughly doubled in size.

Press 3 sage leaves onto the skinned (smooth) side of each chicken breast. Wrap one slice prosciutto around each chicken breast, leaving about 1½ inches exposed on both ends of the breast. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides. Repeat with the remaining prosciutto and chicken.

Heat ¼ cup of the canola oil in a large skillet over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oil's almost smoking (you will begin to smell the oil at that point). Place two of the chicken breasts in the skillet, sage side down, and sear them for 2 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate, wipe out the pan and repeat, heating the remaining ¼ cup of canola oil and cooking the other two chicken breasts in the same way.

Heap the greens onto four plates, dividing them evenly, and sprinkle them with sea salt. Lay the chicken breasts first-cooked side up on top of the greens. Pour the juices from the plate the chicken was resting on into the pan. Add the sage pesto to the pan and warm it over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it bubbles. Add the vegetable broth and cook until the sauce is reduced by a third and thickens slightly. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and drizzle with the lemon-infused olive oil.

© 2007 Nancy Silverton

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving, but does not include lemon-infused olive oil (or high quality extra virgin olive oil combined with a pinch of fresh grated lemon zest), for drizzling or sea salt for sprinkling. This recipe serves 4.

625kcal (31%)
2177mg (91%)
36g (56%)
8g (40%)
129mg (43%)
1863mcg RAE (62%)
89mg (148%)
208mg (21%)
6mg (34%)

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