So here is my classic saltimbocca chicken for you: this is a traditional Italian recipe that consists of prosciutto wrapped fillets in a light white wine sauce! The perfect meal to go with al dente spaghetti.
It is a classic Italian preparation known for its rich flavors and savory combination of ingredients.
I was browsing the internet for a good Italian veal saltimbocca.
Saltimbocca is traditionally prepared with veal. But veal fillets are not always available here. So I needed an alternative for that.
And then I suddenly realised that the answer is actually pretty simple: because why not prepare a delicious Italian classic saltimbocca with chicken instead of veal?
Veal & Chicken
I also think that this saltimbocca chicken will look great on my (already packed) Christmas dinner table this year!
Easy Italian Saltimbocca Chicken & Prosciutto
So let’s get cracking then!
A quick look in my fridge told me that there was some lovely sliced prosciutto available. And then my little herb garden outside always provides me with a healthy bunch of fresh sage.
Well I guess that this honestly sounds like saltimbocca time!
So this time instead of the usual veal I used lightly pounded chicken fillets. My, what a great combination! And the subtle white wine sauce is also to die for.
It gives the quickly seared prosciutto wrapped saltimbocca chicken just the hearty crispiness that it needs.
If you think that the chicken fillets that you bought are too thick, you can cover them with a piece of cling film. And then lightly pound them with a meat mallet until you get to the right thickness that you are looking for.
I sometimes see recipes asking to lightly flour the prepared saltimbocca chicken parcels right before serving. Well I guess that it makes them a little crunchier and that the flour kind of thickens the sauce a little as well.
I prefer them without the flour though but do as you please.
Side Dishes for Saltimbocca Chicken
Saltimboca literally means ‘jumps in the mouth’ which says enough already I think. There is nothing difficult about it.
It is just a wonderful example of Italy’s purest produce cuisine.
And if you don’t like those, then a good old scoop of buttery mashed potatoes will do as well!
Gather your beloved ones around the table and let the Italian wine flow!
Easy Italian Saltimbocca Chicken Recipe
Saltimbocca chicken: a traditional Italian recipe with prosciutto wrapped chicken in a light white wine sauce!
- 4 chicken fillets
- 4 slices prosciutto
- ⅓ cup dry white wine (80 ml)
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Make the chicken fillets a little thinner if you find them too thick. Just cover the fillets with a piece of cling film and then pound them lightly with a meat mallet until they are thin. Place a sage leaf on top of each fillet and season with a little sprinkle of pepper and salt.
Wrap the chicken in a slice of prosciutto. Then secure the saltimbocca parcel with a toothpick.
- Pour the olive oil in a heavy skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the wrapped chicken parcels.
- Fry them on both sides for a couple of minutes until browned.
- Then pour in the white wine.
Cover the pan, turn the heat lower and leave the saltimbocca chicken to simmer in the wine for about 4 minutes. Then check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste. Transfer the saltimbocca chicken onto plates and serve with mashed potatoes or cooked pasta.
Who invented saltimbocca?
The origins of saltimbocca are not definitively attributed to a single individual.
Instead, it is considered a traditional Italian dish that has evolved over time. The name “saltimbocca” itself is Italian and translates to “jump in the mouth,” reflecting the dish’s flavorful nature.
Saltimbocca is believed to have originated in the Lazio region of Italy, particularly in and around Rome. It has become a popular dish not only in Italy but also in various other parts of the world.
While its precise inventor may remain a mystery, the delicious combination of flavors in saltimbocca has certainly left a lasting impression on Italian cuisine and continues to be enjoyed by many today.
Why is it called saltimbocca?
The name “saltimbocca” is Italian and translates to “jump in the mouth” or “leap into the mouth.”
It is believed that the dish got its name because the combination of flavors in saltimbocca is so delicious and savory that it seems to “jump” or “leap” into your mouth with every bite.
The tender veal or other meat, the aromatic sage, the savory prosciutto, and the rich sauce all come together to create a burst of flavor that is truly delightful.
This name reflects the dish’s reputation for being incredibly tasty and flavorful, making it a favorite in Italian cuisine.
How to pound chicken flat without a meat mallet?
Here is how to pound chicken flat for my saltimbocca chicken recipe if you don’t have a meat mallet.
Place the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or inside a sturdy Ziplock bag, then use a heavy pan, rolling pin, or even a wine bottle with some weight to gently pound the chicken, starting from the center and working your way outward.
Be cautious not to hit too hard to avoid tearing the meat.
Check the thickness by lifting the plastic wrap or bag, aiming for even thickness throughout. Repeat if needed to achieve the desired thickness, typically around ¼ to ½ inch thick.
What wine goes with chicken saltimbocca?
When selecting a wine to accompany your saltimbocca, opt for a crisp and dry white wine such as a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc.
These white wines offer a delightful contrast to the dish’s savory and slightly salty prosciutto, while their bright acidity cuts through the buttery richness of the sauce and complements the herbal nuances of the sage.
The clean and refreshing qualities of these wines act as a harmonious partner, enhancing the overall dining experience by accentuating the flavors without overpowering them.
Additionally, their versatility allows them to complement the various elements of the dish, making for a well-balanced and enjoyable pairing that elevates the taste of your chicken saltimbocca.
Can I add lemon to saltimbocca instead of white wine?
Yes, you can add lemon juice or lemon zest to saltimbocca chicken as a flavorful alternative to white wine.
Lemon adds a bright and tangy element to the dish, which complements the savory flavors of the prosciutto, sage and chicken. You can use lemon juice to deglaze the pan or drizzle it over the chicken just before serving to infuse the dish with its citrusy aroma and taste.
Don’t exaggerate though, or your saltimbocca might be too sour to eat afterwards.
Lemon is a popular substitution for wine in many recipes, and it works well in saltimbocca chicken to provide a delicious, slightly acidic twist to the classic flavors.