Stuffed Chicken Breast à la Française

Boneless stuffed chicken breasts have universal appeal. This recipe utilizes prosciutto, Fontina and a rich brown butter sauce to deepen that appeal.

One great thing about stuffed chicken breasts is the combination of a crispy, pan-fried coating and a moist, tender baked chicken breast. What I like about this specific recipe is that you can taste each ingredient in the final product. You taste hints of nutmeg, then the Parmesan cheese, then the Fontina, then prosciutto…all mixed with the brown butter and caper sauce. For a relatively simple meal, this dish offers a lot of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices prosciutto, about 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 slices Fontina cheese, about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions:

1. Place chicken on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper. Using a kitchen mallet, pound breasts to an even 1/2-inch thickness. If the chicken breasts are large, you can also use a knife to butterfly the chicken before flattening.

2. Remove the plastic wrap and season the chicken with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Wrap one slice of prosciutto (can substitute salami) around 1 slice of cheese and place on top of one chicken breast. Arrange some of the spinach leaves on top of the prosciutto and then fold the chicken over in half to make a package. Repeat for the other chicken breast. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Pour oil into a nonstick saute pan and set over medium heat. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly; stir in the Parmesan. Place the flour in another bowl. Dip each stuffed chicken breast first in the flour and then in the egg mixture. Transfer the breasts to the saute pan and brown on the first side 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the chicken over and brown the other side for 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Transfer the stuffed chicken breasts to a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

6. While the chicken is baking, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to brown, add the capers and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Reduce to medium-low until chicken is ready.

7. Remove chicken from the oven and place on warm serving plates. Pour the caper mixture over the chicken and serve with your favorite side.

For a richer flavor, add a little more butter and let it fully brown. As you can see in the picture below, my sauce was very light in color as I did not allow the butter to brown. This was intentional on my part based on my preference, but both sauce versions work well.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe in the cookbook Neiman Marcus: Timeless American Recipes.

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