Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Mascarpone
- SERVINGS: 8
These savory chicken breasts are a simplified version of the whole birds that are bone and stuffed at The River Café. Rather than preparing elaborate sauces, Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray use the prosciutto and mascarpone stuffing to flavor the chicken; the mascarpone also helps to lightly thicken the lemony sauce.
- Eight 5- to 6-ounce boneless chicken breast halves with skin, preferably with wings attached
- 8 thin slices of prosciutto (about 1 1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (about 5 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- Gently run your fingers under the skin of each breast to form a small pocket. Fold the prosciutto slices and slip 1 under the skin of each breast.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the mascarpone with the thyme, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Carefully stuff 1 tablespoon of the mascarpone mixture into each chicken breast pocket, pressing lightly to form an even layer.
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in each of 2 large nonreactive ovenproof skillets until almost smoking. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add 4 breasts to each skillet, skin side down. Cook over high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook for 2 more minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter; keep warm.
- Set each skillet over moderate heat. Add half of the lemon juice to each skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Combine all the pan juices in 1 of the skillets. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of mascarpone and simmer, stirring, until thickened and smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.
Pair with an accessible, young, lively Chianti that can cope with the zest and creaminess of the chicken.