A super easy light dinner of prosciutto wrapped chicken breast using only a few ingredients. With tomato and red onion salad.
PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED CHICKEN
This recipe for prosciutto wrapped chicken breast is probably one of the fastest and easiest chicken recipes I have ever cooked!
Not to mention one of the healthiest and tastiest as well.
A perfect recipe for a weekday meal when you don’t have a lot of time to cook, but still wish to eat something really tasty and healthy for dinner.
I cooked this prosciutto chicken for the first time a few months ago, it was just a “desperation” dinner, no time, not much in the fridge, but a pack of prosciutto and some vegetables.
I called my husband and told him to buy a pack of chicken breast on his way back home and I had dinner ready by the time he changed into more comfortable clothes and asked the kids about their day.
Ever since, the prosciutto wrapped chicken has become a regular, something I make mostly for dinner on days I don’t have the time or the energy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. A two-minute tomato salad is our favorite accompaniment for it.
WHAT IS PROSCIUTTO?
Prosciutto means “ham” in Italian, so it is Italian ham made only from the hind legs of pigs.
There are two sorts of prosciutto: prosciutto crudo or “raw” prosciutto, which is aged during a dry-curing process and prosciutto cotto or “cooked” prosciutto, which is more similar to the cooked ham we are used to.
Prosciutto di Parma is probably the best prosciutto there is. I had it several times, as a treat, but it is not always available around here and when it is, it is definitely more expensive than the regular sorts.
Prosciutto di Parma is made only in Parma, Italy and it is a product that has the Protected Designation of Origin status – PDO.
PDO together with “protected geographical indication (PGI), and traditional specialties guaranteed (TSG) promote and protect names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs”. (Wikipedia) So, these three things are made to protect names and traditions of high-quality European foods, made following traditional methods in a certain European region.
Put simple it means you cannot make prosciutto di Parma in Germany, using German methods and then still call it Prosciutto di Parma, no matter how tasty or similar the product is.
I had prosciutto for the first time many years ago in Sicily. I was there for 3 weeks and I must have eaten prosciutto every day for breakfast.
I am not a porridge/oatmeal/jam kind of breakfast person, I try to eat more porridge and oats because they are healthy, but actually what I do love for breakfast is a slice of good bread with some good ham or cheese… and always tomatoes on the side.
I suppose this is the typical way of eating breakfast in Romania, it is hard to change life long habits.
So, there I was in Sicily eating prosciutto for breakfast every day, while everybody else was going crazy for chocolate croissants.
And prosciutto stayed with me, crudo or cotto, I buy it often. We have mostly as it is, the cooked prosciutto on bread, while I use the crudo for wrapping grissini or melon slices for guests, wrapping chicken breast, making salads or chopping into different kinds of pasta sauces.
HOW TO MAKE PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED CHICKEN BREAST?
The recipe for the prosciutto wrapped chicken breast is ridiculously simple.
- You can use smaller chicken breasts or tenders of about 125 g/ 4.4 oz or larger chicken breast, which you will have to halve, in order to make them smaller and to get 4 portions out of 2 large breasts. I halved mine, they were really large.
- Also using smaller chicken breasts ensures that your chicken is really on the table in 20 minutes, while for large chicken breast you will have to cook the chicken longer.
- The prosciutto keeps the chicken breast so nice and juicy, giving it also some extra flavor that you will just love.
- I used extra virgin olive oil about ½ tablespoon per prosciutto wrapped chicken breast. Melted butter should be fine as well.
- When it comes to spices, salt and pepper are enough if that is all you have. Otherwise, a mixture of dried Italian herbs is an obvious fit. Some red chili flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper make the chicken spicier and some cumin and coriander give it a more Oriental touch.
- Do experiment with the spices and decide what you like best, there are hardly any limits here.
How to halve chicken breasts?
There is something weird about the chicken breasts I get to buy around here. If I buy the chicken breasts frozen they have what I consider a regular size, a portion of chicken breast weighing about 125 g/ 4.4 and 150 g/ 5.3 oz.
However, if I buy the chicken breasts fresh, they are simply huge, between 250 g/ 8.8 oz to 300 g/ 10.6 oz. I find that way too much, if I calculate such a large piece per person, we always have leftovers.
So, what to do? Very simple: I halve the chicken breasts.
You will need a good sharp knife in order to do this properly, a long sharp chef’s knife preferably.
Place one chicken breast on a cutting board. Cut the chicken breast vertically in the middle, the chicken breast pieces will look more or less like two chicken tenders right now.
Wrapping and baking the chicken breasts:
- Once you have your chicken breasts cut to the right size, sprinkle them generously with fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and the seasoning.
- Wrap each chicken breast piece with 2 slices of prosciutto. Place the chicken in the roasting tin and drizzle each breast with olive oil.
- Bake in the preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast reaches 73 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit (according to USDA recommendations).
- Using a meat thermometer is the best way of ensuring that your chicken is done and not overcooked, but if you don’t have one check if the chicken is done by piercing it with a fork, the juices should run clear and the chicken should be white in the middle, no pink is allowed when it comes to chicken.
- Be careful not to overcook the chicken either or it will become tough and dry.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PROSCIUTTO CHICKEN
There are so many things you could serve with this wonderful and tender prosciutto wrapped chicken.
As mentioned above, I would make a tomato salad most of the times, I just love a good tomato salad and I find it to be a perfect fit for the prosciutto chicken.
Easy tomato salad:
- Slice the tomatoes. It doesn’t matter what sort of tomatoes you have, just make sure that they are ripe, sweet and juicy.
- Slice the red onions as well.
- Dress the tomato and onion salad with a dressing made with olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and some fresh herbs like basil or parsley.
Some crusty bread as well and you are done.
Other side dishes for the prosciutto chicken:
- Prosciutto wrapped chicken:
- 4 small OR 2 large chicken breasts (See note 1)
- 6 slices prosciutto crudo
- cayenne pepper OR Italian dried herbs OR paprika powder (See note 2)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter)
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Tomato and onion salad:
- 3-4 tomatoes, depending on size (See note 3)
- 1 red onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a few sprigs fresh basil or parsley
Prosciutto wrapped chicken:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a roasting pan or a large casserole dish.
- Halve the chicken breasts if large. Place one chicken breast on the cutting board and cut it vertically with a long sharp knife. The cut chicken breast should resemble 2 chicken tenders.
- Generously sprinkle the chicken with fine sea salt, ground black pepper, and the spices of your choice.
- Wrap each chicken portion with two slices of prosciutto crudo, so that the prosciutto covers the chicken. Place the chicken in the prepared dish. Pour about ½ tablespoon olive oil on each prosciutto-wrapped chicken piece.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken breast reaches 73 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit (use a meat thermometer).
- You can also check by piercing the chicken with a fork, the juices should run clear and the chicken should be white in the middle, no pink is allowed when it comes to chicken. Do not overcook or the chicken will become dry.
Tomato and onion salad:
- Slice the tomatoes and thinly slice the red onion. Arrange them on a platter or place them in a bowl.
- Whisk together the olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper until the mixture emulsifies slightly. Adjust the taste with more salt and vinegar, if necessary.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or chopped parsley.
- The small chicken breasts should weigh between 125 g/ 4.4 and 150 g/ 5.3 oz. The large chicken breasts should weigh between 250 g/ 8.8 oz and 300 g/ 10.6 oz. The large chicken breast has to be halved to obtain 4 portions of chicken breasts.
- You can choose whatever spices you like. Read blog posts for more suggestions.
- The tomatoes should be ripe and sweet.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1772mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g
Nutritional information is not always accurate.