Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jumping Off the Bacon Bandwagon

Are you as tired as I am of the Bacon Bandwagon? Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff, but it's everywhere. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, even cocktails and candy. We've done the bacon-wrapped thing here too but I was looking for something a little different, a little more refined. Prosciutto came to mind when I was pondering my options. I knew I was going to use it to roll something, but exactly what I wasn't sure yet.

Exactly what is prosciutto? Well, the short answer- ham. It's a dry cured ham that's usually cut super thin and served in many different dishes. It's cured and not cooked. Typically made from the leg of a pig or wild boar, it can take as long as two years to cure and craft the perfect prosciutto. You need a cool and damp environment to have a good prosciutto. Too warm and the meat is going to soil and be inedible. If you don't have a lot of humidity, you're just making jerky.

What do you do with it? Almost everyone has seen it wrapped around wedges of juicy melon. It might be wrapped around bread sticks or asparagus and roasted. It might be tossed with pasta and a creamy sauce, or cut up and sprinkled on a pizza when it comes out of the oven. Saltimbocca is a classic Italian dish in which pieces of veal are topped with a sage leaf and wrapped in prosciutto. Of course, many a panini is made with prosciutto too. I thought about using it in an appetizer using cubes of chicken and a sage leaf but we just don't need that many appetizers for the two of us. Instead, I have decided to stuff my chicken breasts with a garlicky, herby goat cheese and wrap them, baking until the prosciutto is crispy and brown and so delicious. So non-bacon.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Prosciutto

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 3 oz goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (one small clove)
  • butter
  • 1-2 tsp minced fresh thyme, chives, parsley, plus more
  • prosciutto
  • salt and pepper

Butterfly the chicken breasts- this makes pounding so much more efficient and you don't have to beat the heck out of the chicken to get it the right size for rolling. 

It's super easy to do-place your hand flat on the top of the chicken breast; using a sharp knife, slice the chicken breasts horizontally but NOT all the way through. Lay open the chicken- voila! Place the chicken between sheets of plastic. Lightly pound them with mallet or heavy rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small skillet melt a tablespoon or so of butter. Saute the garlic for a couple minutes until softened but not brown. Crumble the goat cheese into a small bowl. Add the garlic and herbs, mix well. 

Divide between chicken breasts. Spread or pat the goat cheese evenly over the chicken. It doesn't have to cover every bit of the meat, just evenly. Roll up the chicken.

Using slices of prosciutto, wrap the chicken rolls, and secure with picks. Place on shallow sheet pan. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of melted butter. Note: If you use a high-sided pan it's much harder for the prosciutto to crisp up nicely. It sort of steams the rolls and we don't want that.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes until chicken is done. While the chicken is in the oven, get your sides together. Sprinkle chicken with additional fresh herbs and serve.

I served the chicken with mashed potatoes made with a little roast garlic, minced fresh herbs, drizzled with the pan drippings from the chicken, and sauteed baby zucchini. It was so delicious! It smelled amazing in the oven- like Thanksgiving dinner- seriously, like a roast turkey, and the prosciutto was SO MUCH BETTER than bacon- super thing, crispy, no flab even on the bottom. The goat cheese added the delicious tangy twist that chicken needs, and is really a blank canvas for you to play with herbs, spices, flavors. Give it a try!


  1. La Quercia is so delicious! I used to work at an Italian deli that sold several types of prociutto. La Quercia was as delicious as the most expensive Italian prociutto. This recipe looks great.

  2. Thanks Jeni !! I love La Quercia too. I have enough leftover for another recipe idea. I'd love to tour their facility. That would be a great Blogger Field Trip