Tonight's dinner didn't come from a recipe, it just sort of evolved from what I knew I wanted and what I found. It started with the idea of using my current favorite salad *arugula, prosciutto, dried chopped date and shaved parmesan with a semi-sweet tart vinaigrette; but making it into a complete dinner by adding a simple grilled chicken breast and serving the salad on top as is common in Italian restaurants. The salad itself is a really good combination of flavors: bitter fresh arugula, salty, dry prosciutto, sweet chopped dates, parmesan and also chopped pecans. (Thanks to Chef David DiGregorio, my favorite Italian chef)
But then I started thinking that it might be more interesting if I put chicken and prosciutto together. My thoughts naturally turned to Chicken Saltimbocca, the classic Italian chicken, prosciutto and sage dish, usually served with a lemony wine sauce. This wasn't quite the dish I wanted though, I still was thinking of my dinner salad. So I decided to prepare the chicken breast "saltimbocca" style but serve it with a tart vinaigrette and the arugula and date salad.
The chicken is prepared according to this recipe from Bon Appetit. Basically you just pound it thin and lay thin slices of prosciutto across the top. They just stick, no problem. The whole thing is dredged lightly in flour and then the chicken is browned in oil prosciutto-side down in a saute pan. It browns in about 4 minutes, gets flipped and cooked until it is cooked through (165 degrees,) about another 4, depending on the thickness of the chicken.
A vinaigrette is prepared and tossed with some arugula and thin-sliced dates. (I've pointed you to the vinaigrette that I use, but I think one made with lemon juice and zest would be even better. ) The chicken is plated and the salad is served on the side. Parmesan shavings go over the top - to bring it over the top. The chicken turned out really juicy and flavorful. Sometimes you get in your mind what you want and you just have to follow your instincts and trust that you know what you're doing. A nice spring dinner. Arugula is just about in season, so give this a try.