Sunday, January 15, 2012

Simple is Elegant (Prosciutto Roasted Chicken with Winter Vegetables)

Greetings Ladies and Gents!

While J learned much of his culinary skills from Martha, my early years of cooking were mostly me experimenting with recipes taught to me by my mother. That said, over the past half dozen years or so, I've gotten much of my inspiration and style from a royalty in the cooking world: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa. While she is more than capable of making the most intricate of culinary delights, her guidance to creating amazing and memorable dishes is this: simple is elegant.
Simply elegant

I decided to pay homage to Ina by trying my hand at adapting a recipe from one of her cookbooks, Back to Basics.  The plan was to recreate Prosciutto Roasted Bass with Autumn Vegetables, but as I made my way through the grocery and to the fish department, I was aghast to find that I had chosen an off day to pick up fish and the selection was less than stellar. Not letting that get in the way of inspiration, I quickly adjusted and substituted chicken for fish. The end result was a hearty and satisfying meal on a cold winter night.

A meal that's sure to please
Prosciutto Roasted Chicken with Winter Vegetables
Adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

In addition to replacing fish with chicken, I also upped the garlic slightly, substituted fresh rosemary for fresh thyme, and switched out squash for Brussels sprouts (the dish was in need of some green!).

1 lb Brussels sprouts
6 parsnips, peeled
6 oz baby carrots
1 lb red creamer potatoes
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 chicken breasts
6 thin slices prosciutto
1/4 c butter (1 stick)
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with foil (this will save a lot of time and hassle on clean-up later).

Some necessary color in the dead of winter
Roughly chop the Brussels sprouts, parsnips, carrots, and potatoes and place them on one of the baking sheets.

Roasted veggies = Nom nom
Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes. Stir the vegetables and add in the minced garlic.  Roast for 30 more minutes.

Wrap carefully, prosciutto is sensitive and likes to stay that way
At the same time, season each chicken breast, front and back, with salt and pepper. Wrap each piece with a slice of prosciutto, and place on the second baking sheet with the 'open' wrap side down.  Roast for 30 minutes until each breast is fully cooked.

Mmm butter
Heat a saute pan to medium heat and melt the butter.  Add the thyme and lemon juice. Continue to cook until the sauce takes on a lightly brown color, about 5 minutes.

Crowd-pleaser
Place the finished chicken across a platter, surround with the roasted vegetables, and pour the butter sauce over the top. Garnish with additional sprigs of thyme or lemon wedges.

Cheers!

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Would love to dig in to your finished platter--very appetizing!

AEthanP said...

Thanks very much for the compliment! I love this dish because it really isn't all that difficult and the end result is simply delicious - it only LOOKS like you spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. :)