About this recipe: An elegant and intensely flavourful way to prepare chicken breasts: roll with prosciutto and cheese, skewer with rosemary sprigs, and marinate (or not).
Fontina is an Italian cheese available at specialty shops and some supermarkets. Substitute another cheese, such as Gruyere or even Cheddar, if you cannot find Fontina.
Growing up in my family of outstanding Italian cooks (and being a pretty mean Italian cook myself!) I recognized this recipe as having all the combination of ingredients for a take on a great Italian dish, Chicken Saltimbocca. Sad to say, both hubby and I were pretty non-impressed. First, let me say I made the recipe with no changes so I could be fair in my review. That said, because the chicken basically "poaches" in all that liquid, it turned out moist and tender-a good thing! However, because the chicken basically "poaches" in all that liquid, the chicken had no color, so it was pretty anemic looking-a bad thing. The pan "juices," which should be thick and velvety, were instead watery. Blechh. The flavor of the chicken was bland, lost to the overpowering, rather than subtle, flavor of rosemary. Yet, this recipe does have potential, with minimal changes. Salt and pepper the chicken. Sprinkle with a LITTLE minced garlic and a LITTLE chopped rosemary, then roll up with the the prosciutto and cheese as the recipe directs. Brown the chicken, in a little olive oil over pretty high heat, about two minutes on each side until golden. Then, add all the liquid to the pan, scraping up the brown bits, and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced to about half, another several minutes or so. Swirl in a couple tbls. of butter. Serve the chicken drizzled with some of the reduced liquid, and insert a sprig of rosemary for a nice presentation. Mmm, bravo! - 07 Nov 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
Update from the author: What I love about this site is all of the input. Specifically, your comments on cheese, garlic and rosemary have made all the diff here. Re cheese: I still prefer smoked fontina, but use what you want. Tip: slice it and then let it warm to room temp. It will roll better that way, which lets the layering happen a bit better. Re garlic: yeah, just mince and drizzle it into the breasts before you roll. Think about how much your guests like garlic. You might just get away with slicing a clove and rubbing, a la bruschetta. Your call. Re rosemary: while skewering is a nice touch, you can simply lay the sprig in the pounded breast, perpendicular, and roll it up alongside everything else. Be sure to moisten well, however, so the ends don't totally fry. Alternatively, just minced and add to the roll-up! I'm glad so many of you have enjoyed this. Thank you for the input! - 02 Jun 2005 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This was my first attempt at slightly "fancier" cooking. I'm a complete novice, and I could not have been more pleased with how great this recipe turned out. As a bit of a beginner, there's nothing more disheartening than working hard and it somehow not coming together - but this was clear enough for even me to follow, and it came out beautifully, with lots of compliments. Update: I've made this dish several times now, and have found that instead of bothering with sharpening the rosemary and spearing it, it tastes better to just wrap the rosemary sprig in with the prosciutto and cheese. It slides right out of the chicken with a little pull, but leaves MUCH more flavor. Just secure the chicken with toothpicks so it'll hold together when cooking. - 06 May 2006 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)