Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Creamy Leeks
It might not quite be corned beef and hash but this prosciutto wrapped chicken with creamy leeks topped with fresh green chives could be a new alternative for St. Patty’s Day…or any weeknight for that matter. Just what that sneaky leprechaun ordered! Things are changing and it’s fun to start new traditions along with the tried and true…like green beer.
The crispy, salty prosciutto gives the chicken a nice texture and flavor but my favorite part is the creamy leeks because that’s where you find the subtle layers of flavor. There’s leeks, there’s cream, there’s Marsala wine, and wait…oh yes…shallots and parmesan! Layering flavors is something you hear a lot about on all these cooking shows and really there’s a lot of truth to it. A dish with layered flavors has a wow factor that is subtle but definitely there. You love it and you might not know exactly why but you just do. In that vein, I tried to make this prosciutto wrapped chicken and creamy leeks dish more complex by using not just one type of onion (the Leek) but also the shallot and fresh chives. Those flavors all build on each other and just make the dish more interesting – less one note. And to give the cream sauce a little more depth I added Marsala wine (dry). You could use a little sherry (not sherry vinegar) but dry Sherry or just some dry white wine. If substituting the white wine I’d add in a little extra splash because…oh why not?
This dish is really best cooked and served right away but the chicken, once crispy and done can be held in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes until you are ready to plate – which gives you time to finish the sauce and chit chat a little or sip that green beer. And the sauce only takes about 10-15 minutes total. Couldn’t be easier. Just have everything ready to throw in the pan and you are done.
Here’s the step by step…which actually might look more complicated that it really was because of so many pictures but it took hardly any time at all.
1. Start with a bunch of fresh leeks. Usually sold in a 3-pack bunch at the grocery store…
2. Remove the dark green part and the base and keep only the light green and white parts. I even remove a few of the out layers. They peel right off like an onion.
3. All fresh and clean….
4. Peel the outer layer off the shallot bulb
5. Chopped the shallots and set aside….
6. Season chicken with salt and pepper
7. Then wrap with prosciutto
8. Cook in batches in a hot skillet with the oil. Flip only once and let the first side brown before flipping. Don’t cook on high heat or the prosciutto could burn…medium high is usually good. Chicken will cook quickly because you are using a thinner cut.
9. Set the cooked, crispy chicken aside or in a 200 degree oven on a sheet pan until ready to serve…
10. Melt the butter in an enameled cast iron pan
11. Add the leeks and shallots to the butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes while stirring.
12. Add the marsala wine and cook until almost absorbed…
13. Add the heavy cream and cook until thicker but not fully absorbed….about 5-7 minutes.
14. Remove from heat and add the parmesan cheese and stir.
15. Plate by adding some of the creamy leeks on a platter and the chicken on top of that and then a little more of the leeks and finally sprinkle with fresh chives!
*Would go great with mashed potatoes!
- 1 1/4 lbs thin sliced boneless chicken breasts (trimmed and cut into same sized pieces if needed)
- 1 Cup - Rich Brown Sugar
- 1- 3 oz package thinly sliced Proscuitto
- 3 medium leeks, white part only (tops and stem removed and discarded)
- 1 large shallot bulb, peeled and chopped
- 1 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons dry Marsala wine or sherry (optional but recommended) *substitute dry white wine if needed
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspon kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- Chives, chopped (for garnish)
- 1. Trim chicken of any excess fat and cut any extra wide piece in half, if needed. You want the proscuitto to be able to wrap around it and you want each piece roughly the same size. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Wrap enough proscuitto to cover the middle two third-s of the chicken breast and don’t worry if it tears. You can wrap another piece over it and keep going.
- 2. Place a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat and let it heat up and then add in the olive oil. When the oil starts to get hot then add the chicken in batches. Cook until the proscuitto is crispy and the chicken is cooked through. Mine took about 5-6 minutes total cook time, flipping once. Set the cooked chicken aside or place in a 200 degree oven or warming drawer.
- 3. Set a large cast iron enameled skillet over medium heat and melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter. Then add in the leeks and shallots and cook for 4-5 minutes until they soften and the shallots turn opaque. Season with salt and pepper.
- 4. Add in the Marsala wine or sherry or white wine and cook until absorbed. Add in the cream and stir occasionally for another 10 minutes or until the cream is partly absorbed but not all the way. Lower heat if needed, you don’t want a rapid boil. Remove from heat and add in the grated parmesan.
- Fill baking tray and place in oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees
- Plate with some of the leek sauce on the bottom of the platter and then the chicken on top of that. Drizzle with more sauce and top with fresh chives.