Sunday, February 21, 2010

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Lately, it has felt like my creative juices have been fermenting, stagnating.  I've been wanting to make something new, but the ideas just haven't been there.  This weekend, I made it a point to set aside some time to search for this ever-elusive inspiration.  There is one specific source I turn to whenever I need new ideas and that is the Flavor Bible. I've probably mentioned it once or twice in previous posts now, but it deserves repeating.  This book is, by far, better than any cook book you will ever find - even though it isn't technically a cook book, but rather a book full of cooking ideas.  More specifically, it describes different ingredients and flavors and how they work together.  Our local market has had Gorgonzola cheese on sale this week, so Becky suggested I try something with that.  So, I looked up Gorgonzola, checked it against a few flavors that sounded interesting and ended up with this recipe.

This chicken dish goes well with the fennel potatoes and pancetta green bean side dishes mentioned below.

  • ~5 oz. Gorgonzola cheese
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1/4 pint cream
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 piece of prosciutto for each chicken breast
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. rosemary
  • 1/8 c. brandy
  • 1/8 c. walnuts, crushed
  1. Chop up the Gorgonzola and butter and put in a pot on low heat, stirring frequently
  2. Add the cream, Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper to the sauce and let simmer while you prepare the chicken - do not let the sauce boil or burn on the bottom of the pot (a few bubbles are fine)!
  3. Wrap a single piece of prosciutto around each of the chicken pieces
  4. Mix together the flour, rosemary and ground black pepper and spread out onto a plate
  5. Dredge the chicken through the flour mix, evenly covering both sides
  6. Heat a sauté pan to medium-high and add some extra virgin olive oil
  7. When the oil is hot, carefully add the floured chicken pieces to the pan, flipping after a couple minutes
  8. When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, temporarily remove them from the pan
  9. Add the brandy to the pan, scraping off any stuck pieces of chicken from the bottom
  10. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the chicken back to the pan for a few minutes
  11. At this point, the Gorgonzola sauce should be nice and creamy so transfer the chicken from their pan onto the serving plates, covering each piece with a generous spoon-full of sauce
  12. Sprinkle some crushed walnuts over the sauce and serve immediately

Fennel Potatoes

The first time I cooked with fennel, I made a fennel soup and it was disastrous.  The second time I cooked with fennel I made these potatoes and they were delicious.  I'm hoping for more of the latter with future endeavors.  The fennel adds a slightly sweet and subtle anise (similar to licorice) flavor to the potatoes that pairs nicely with smaller tuber varieties, which are sweeter and more flavorful than their over-sized cousins from Idaho.

  • 1/2 lb. small yellow potatoes
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon zest
  1. Quarter the potatoes and throw them into a sauté pan with some extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat
  2. Chop off the stems sprouting from the top of the fennel bulb along with the root connector on the bottom and peel off the outer layer
  3. Quarter the bulb then cut the quarters into 1/8" slices (you can also dice them if you prefer)
  4. Toss the fennel into the pan with some rosemary
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. When potatoes are tender, toss with lemon zest and serve immediately

Green Beans and Pancetta

This is a common side dish Becky and I use for our weekend meals, which are typically larger, real-er meals than the ones we throw together during the week.  It is so simple, most of the ingredients are in the title.  Becky claims this is her recipe.  I guess it probably is.  Either way, you will enjoy this best with some sort of chicken main dish.

  • Pancetta, cubed
  • Fresh green beans
  • Lemon juice
  1. Dump the pancetta into a sauté pan on medium-high heat
  2. After a minute or so, add the green beans and cover
  3. A couple minutes before the beans are tender, squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the pan
  4. Serve with entrée immediately