Sunday, June 7, 2015

Turkey or Chicken Saltimbocca

I know this isn't an authentic Italian recipe, especially when I adapted it to GARD and Paleo rules. It should probably be called Sort Of Saltimbocca. It's definitely quick and easy (45 minutes start to finish for me). If you are looking for a new way to serve poultry, try this one. I bet you'll like it. Serves 3-4

1 lb* boneless, skinless turkey or chicken breast: you want to end up with 5 or 6 cutlets
3 slices Prosciutto di Parma
10-12 fresh sage leaves, divided
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Spice Islands brand poultry seasoning
Round, sturdy toothpicks, like Diamond brand
1-1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 c dry white wine
Arrowroot (in the spices aisle of the grocery store)

Stack the equivalent of 5 or 6 large sage leaves and roll into a cigar shape. Cut thin slices (chiffonade) and then cut them crosswise, chopping into smallish pieces. Set aside.

Using a very, very sharp boning knife, put the flat of your hand across the top of the breast to hold it in place, and cut it horizontally in thirds, or even fourths if it's thick enough. Here is my first slice on the left, remainder of breast on the right. You can click on any of the pictures for a closer look:

When you cut them this thinly, you get the right size *and* you don't have to pound them all out with a meat mallet to the necessary thinness. I cut my second exactly the same way. You'll see a thin white tendon running down the center. I cut it out, sliced off another cutlet, and then cut the last piece in half lengthwise to make two narrower cutlets. You can also see my chopped sage leaves, whole sage leaves, and ground black pepper. The nutmeg was for wilted spinach, our side dish for the night but not part of this recipe.

I did have to lightly pound out the last cutlet just to even it out.

Take one half of a piece of prosciutto, fold it as needed to match the cutlet size, and lay it across the cutlet. Top with a big sage leaf. Roll each one up and secure with a strong, round toothpick as shown.

My smallest one was pretty teeny, and I used 2 toothpicks, one in each direction, just to make sure it was secure. Rub both sides of the "birds" with EVOO, and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.

Drizzle 1.5 TB EVOO in a large, nonstick skillet and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot and rippling, use tongs to place each bird in the oil, seam side down. Cook for 6 minutes on the first side. When you turn them, you'll be able to get two more "angles" on the top side, for more browning surface, so cook for 3 minutes at the first angle, and 3 minutes at the second angle. You may need to turn the heat down a tad to make sure you don't burn the poultry seasoning. Use tongs to gently remove them to a plate. They should look nice and brown like this.

But, they won't be fully cooked inside yet. Ladle off and discard any excess EVOO, and pour in the white wine. Use a whisk to pick up all the browned bits.  Add the chicken stock,, stir to blend, and bring to a high simmer. Season with salt and pepper, and add all the chopped sage. Put the birds back in and cook another 5 minutes for the smaller ones, 6 minutes for the bigger ones. Remove them again to a serving plate. Pull out the toothpicks, or leave them in for everyone to remove themselves. Just make sure you take them out before you start cutting into them.

In a teacup or small, shallow bowl, mix 1 tsp arrowroot with 2 tsp cold water, stirring briskly with a fork to make a slurry. Don't cheat and dump the arrowroot directly into the simmering stock, it will clump up and be a sad, lumpy, watery mess. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the arrowroot slurry. Keep stirring (you don't have to beat it, just stir it) about a minute, till it thickens. It happens pretty quickly, and will continue to thicken as it cools. If it is not thick enough to suit you, make another slurry and stir in.

Ladle half the gravy around the birds, and pour the rest into a gravy boat. I am a gravy hound, and unapologetic about it. I slice up my birds into bite size coins with a steak knife and liberally pour gravy over them.

>>You can not continue to cook or re-heat the gravy once the arrowroot has been added: it will break down, and the gravy or sauce will thin out again. If you're going to warm this up the next day, you'll need to make a new slurry as well.

*I used a 3/4 lb turkey breast for the two of us and got 5 cutlets out of it, 4 horizontal pieces.  I cut those suckers thin, and you need a really sharp knife to be able to pull this off; otherwise the knife will just chew up and tear the meat. The bottom piece was the largest and widest, and I cut it in half lengthwise to make 2, for a total of 5.

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