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Italian-Style Chicken with Prosciutto and Basil
© Sarah Anne Ward

Italian-Style Chicken with Prosciutto and Basil



  1. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  2. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  3. 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  4. 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  5. Salt
  6. freshly ground pepper
  7. 4 large chicken breast halves on the bone, with skin
  8. 4 thin slices of prosciutto, folded in half
  9. 12 large basil leaves plus 1 tablespoon minced basil
  10. 1/4 cup dry white wine
  11. 1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  12. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Preheat the broiler. In a small skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over moderate heat. Add half of the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and let cool.
  2. Loosen the skin from the chicken breasts without detaching it completely. Place a teaspoon of the cooked shallot and garlic mixture under the skin of each breast half and spread it over the meat. Top the mixture with a folded piece of prosciutto and 3 basil leaves. Smooth the chicken skin over the fillings and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Set the chicken in a medium roasting pan, skin side up. Broil for 5 minutes. Turn and broil for 5 minutes more, then turn again and broil for about 5 minutes longer, or until nicely crisped on top; take care not to burn the skin. Turn the oven temperature to 350° and bake the chicken for about 20 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm.
  4. Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a small bowl; spoon off the fat and reserve the brown drippings. Place the roasting pan over moderate heat. Add the remaining chopped shallot and garlic and stir until softened and golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil. When the wine is nearly evaporated, pour in the chicken stock and heavy cream. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved drippings and the minced basil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place a stuffed breast half on each of 4 dinner plates. Spoon the sauce over or around the chicken and serve.