I recently came across a recipe on the Gimme Some Oven website while looking for ideas for things to serve with traditional Swiss fondue. Wanting to go beyond the usual chunks of bread and sliced fruit, I was thinking it would be fun to do a riff on Chicken Cordon Bleu by wrapping bite-sized pieces of chicken in ham and dipping it into the melted cheese.
The original recipe calls for wrapping whole breasts in Prosciutto and baking them in the oven, then serving them with an herby-garlicy-buttery wine sauce. That sounded pretty damn good to me, but I needed to alter the recipe to fit my needs. As mentioned, the chicken was cut into bite-sized pieces, rather than served whole. The pieces seasoned with salt and pepper, then wrapped up tightly in Virginia ham and baked at high heat. While the meat cooked, I prepared the sauce; the original recipe called for lemon wedges to be served on the side with the chicken, but I opted to add the juice to the sauce as it simmered. Once the chicken bites were cooked through, they were placed on a platter and the sauce was poured over.
Overall, I was incredibly pleased with the outcome. The chicken bites were delicious dipped in the Swiss fondue, but would also be wonderful served as an elegant hors d’oeuvre at a cocktail party.
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12-15 slices of Virginia ham, cut paper thin
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage, plus more sprigs for garnish (optional)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mats.
2. Stack the slices of ham on a plate or cutting board and cut the stack into quarters.
3. Season the bite-sized pieces of chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap each piece of chicken in 1/4-slice of ham. Place the ham-wrapped chicken pieces on the lined baking sheets, seam-side down.
4. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through (160-170 degrees internal temperature).
5. Remove the chicken from the oven and cover the pans with aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes. Sauté the mixture until the sage begins to turn crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Slowly pour the white wine and lemon juice into the sauce pan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Place the ham-wrapped chicken bites on a serving platter, then pour the sauce overtop. Garnish with fresh sprigs of sage, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes approximately 48-60 bite-sized pieces
Original Recipe: “Prosciutto-Wrapped Baked Chicken,” GimmeSomeOven.com. August 30,2017: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/prosciutto-wrapped-baked-chicken-saltimbocca/