Early in my nascent bachelor days, when I was living on my own and on a very limited budget, this was my go-to dish whenever I needed to impress a guest. Although I’ve paired it here with a new world pinot noir, I also like the higher acidity of Burgundy or New Zealand pinots, or even an unoaked Chablis or California Chardonnay, which works better with the sharp Swiss cheese than does an oaked version of same.
Ingredients (Serves 6)
|6 (~ 4-Oz) skinless, boneless chicken breasts||For The Sauce:|
|6 Slices prosciutto, fairly thick||1 Cup thinly sliced shallots|
|6 Slices Gruyère cheese||2 tsp tomato paste|
|1 1/2 Cups arugula, stems removed||2 Cups dry white wine|
|1/2 tsp ea. salt and ground black pepper||2 1/4 Cups low-sodium chicken broth|
|Kitchen twine (i.e., food grade)||1 1/2 tsp Water|
|1 tablespoon olive oil||1 tsp Cornstarch|
Preheat oven to 350°. Place a shallow baking pan in the oven for later.
To prepare the chicken, place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap (tip, sprinkle the wrap with water to prevent sticking and splitting). Using a meat mallet or any heavy, flat item, pound each breast to 1/4-inch thickness. Top each chicken breast with 1 slice prosciutto, 1 slice cheese, and 1/4 cup arugula, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edges. Fold in half (the long way) and tie with string to form a cylinder. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper as most will remain in the pan. (The chicken can be prepared up to a day ahead and refrigerated at this point.)
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat for three minutes. Remove from heat, and cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of olive oil, then add the shallots and sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Stirring constantly, add the tomato paste and after 1 minute add the wine as you continue to stir. Increase heat to high (you can stop stirring now) and bring to a boil, cooking until reduced to 1 cup (about 6 minutes). Stir in the broth and bring to a boil again. Cook until reduced by half (about 8 minutes). Turn heat to low and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for three minutes. Remove from heat and coat the entire bottom with a thin layer of olive oil, then add chicken and return pan to heat, cooking until golden brown, <9 minutes total. When ready to move the chicken to the baking pan, turn off the oven and keep warm while you finish the sauce.
When sauce is reduced by half, dissolve the cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until smooth. Add to sauce, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
To serve, remove strings from each breast, top with sauce and serve with polenta, a steamed green vegetable. I like to lean the chicken half way onto the polenta to break up the symmetry.
Dave the Wine Merchant