While I am out of town on a business trip, Jaida Reed of Sweet Beginnings food blog and Sunny Slices is today’s guest poster. As a self-professed obsessive planner, it is no surprise that her blog is very well designed and easy to navigate. And when you couple that organization capability with her passion for all things food, well, I know you will thoroughly enjoy visiting her sites. I love her assortment of recipes – they are a constant source of inspiration for many including me! Jaida is kicking around the idea of opening her own bakery/café. I wish I lived nearby because I am certain that when she gets it up and running it will be a huge success! Thank you Jaida for helping me out!
Ok Jaida, take it away!
When Jane asked for Guest Posters while she was out on vacation, I jumped at the opportunity. She has such a wonderful blog, recipes, and readers that I was honored to be chosen as one of the posters. And, because I wanted to uphold the level of her posts, I chose today’s recipe to share with you all.
I am not a big celebrity chef follower, per se, but there are certain celebrity chefs that I have taken a liking to over the years. Bobby Flay is one such chef. When I see his shows on The Food Network, I can’t help but smile and get stuck on the channel. So, when I came across this recipe and saw that it was one of his, I had no doubt that it would turn out to be amazing – as long as I didn’t mess it up, of course.
It’s a fairly simple recipe, but the end result is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party with friends and a good glass (or several bottles) of Pinot Grigio. I’m a little particular about the cheeses that I like, blue-types being among those that I do not care for. I’ve had brie in the past, and remembered enjoying it, so I was excited to try out this recipe. I mean, how could I go wrong with crispy chicken, creamy brie, and a tangy arugula salad? Oh, and don’t forget the salty prosciutto!
It was a perfect blend of flavors, and I can’t wait to make this dinner for friends or a special someone…and if you do the same, you will most certainly blow your guests away – in the best way possible!
I salute Mr. Bobby Flay for yet another amazing recipe, and thanks to Jane for allowing me to share it with you all here!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Arugula is a bright green “lettuce” with a slight bitterness that complements many foods. It helps cut some of the richness of dishes like today’s recipe. Prosciutto is Italy’s famous cured pork. Often considered similar to an unsmoked ham, make sure you always buy it shaved paper thin. It can be tough if not cut thinly enough. It is absolutely delicious with a salty goodness that is addictive.
Kitchen Skill: How to Flatten Meats by Pounding
Pounding cuts of meat gives you a more even thickness, allowing it to cook at the same rate all the way through. The most common meat you will need to pound is chicken. Although most recipes tell you to use waxed paper or plastic wrap, in my opinion the best material for pounding meats that won’t fall apart easily is a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Cut a gallon-size zippered bag’s top and sides off, open it like a book, place the chicken inside, and close “the book.”
Place the chicken breasts (contained between the plastic bag pieces) on a cutting board and using the smooth side of a meat pounder, pound breasts until even thickness. Instead of hitting straight down, use a slight swinging action, starting at the thickest portion and moving toward the thinner edge.
If the chicken breasts are very thick, it is easier to cut them in half horizontally 3/4 of the way through and fold them open like a book (this is called butterflying). Pound the uncut side if still needed.
- Arugula Salad
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb baby arugula, rinsed and spun dry
- 1 cup flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/4 lb Red Hawk triple crème cheese or Brie, thinly sliced
- 8 thin slices Virginia ham or prosciutto
- Prepare Arugula Salad: In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Add the arugula and toss to coat the leaves with the vinaigrette. Set aside while you prepare the chicken.
- Prepare Chicken: Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls and season each with salt and pepper. Place a wire baking rack over a baking sheet; set aside.
- Place each chicken breast between two pieces of waxed paper (or a freezer-style plastic bag) and pound to 1/4-inch thickness.
- Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, and dredge each breast in the flour; tap off excess. Dip into the egg wash and let excess drip off, and then dredge on both side in the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking rack set over a baking sheet.
- Cook Chicken: Preheat two large nonstick sauté pans over high heat. Add 3 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil to each pan and heat until the butter is melted and sizzling. Place 2 breasts in each pan and cook until golden brown on the first side, using tongs flip over and continue cooking until golden brown on the second side and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes total.
- Remove to a plate and immediately top each breast with a few slices of cheese, then top with a few slices of ham and some of the arugula salad.
- Serve immediately.