This amazing little dish will become legendary at your table. And when that’s the case, you can easily quadruple the recipe every once in a while. Fill your freezer with a month of ready-to-fly meals.
Today for Tomorrow: Stuff and roll the chicken breasts in advance (see Storage Tip). Fully cook this dish now and reheat anytime during the next several days.
For the Stuffed Chicken:
4 lemons, sliced as thinly as possible (skin and all, seeds removed)
32 fresh sage leaves
16 thin slices of prosciutto
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Lots of freshly ground pepper
For the Finishing Brown Butter for Each Meal (for 4 servings):
1/4 cup (60 mL) of butter
Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh sage, chopped
The zest and juice of 1 lemon
Prepare to roll the chicken breasts. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Make 8 equal piles of lemon slices, each with 4 sage leaves. Lay out the prosciutto slices, 2 at a time, slightly overlapped along one edge, forming a rough square. Working with one chicken breast at a time, slide it into a large resealable plastic bag and pound it with the bottom of a small pan or a rolling pin until it’s at least half as thin as when you started. Season generously with the pepper. Cover with the lemon slices interspersed with sage leaves. Slightly tuck in any odd-shaped edges, then firmly roll into a pinwheel of sorts. Place the chicken log at one short end of the prosciutto slices and roll neatly and tightly once again. Place seam side down on the baking sheet.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Turn on your convection fan if you have one.
Place the fresh or frozen chicken rolls in an ovenproof skillet and bake until a meat thermometer reads at least 165°F (74°C), 30 minutes or so from fresh, 45 minutes from frozen.
Transfer the chicken to a plate. For fancy presentation or family-style eating, slice each portion into thick pinwheels, showing off the lemon and sage within. Place the skillet over medium heat. Careful, the handle’s hot! Toss in the butter, swirling and lightly browning it as far as you dare. Stir in the sage leaves and lemon zest to slow down the cooking, then add the lemon juice to stop it cold. Pour over the chicken and serve.
Refrigerate: Tightly seal the rolled raw chicken and refrigerate immediately for just a day or two. Tightly seal the cooked chicken and refrigerate within 30 minutes of cooking. Store for up to 2 days before reheating.
Freeze: Roll each of the stuffed chicken breasts tightly in an individual sandwich bag, seal and freeze for up to 30 days. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before baking. After baking, tightly seal leftovers and store in the refrigerator for just a few days.
Excerpted from Make Ahead Meals. Copyright © Michael Smith, 2015. Photography copyright © Ryan Szulc. Excerpted by permission of Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Books Canada Inc., A Penguin Random House Company. All rights reserved.
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