Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken With Lemony Mascarpone Sauce

If you’re a fan of the classic Italian dish Veal Saltimbocca (or Chicken Saltimbocca), this recipe may seem a little familiar. Saltimbocca typically calls for thin pieces of meat rolled or stuffed with bacon or prosciutto, along with slices of cheese and fresh herbs, most often sage.

In this slightly askew version, I rub chicken breasts with dried sage and wrap them in thin slices of prosciutto before pan-searing them.

Instead of using cheese slices, I made a creamy mascarpone cheese sauce, blended with fresh lemon juice and zest. It melts over the chicken breasts for a deliciously silky finish.

The second sauce is a quick pan-reduction of white wine and lemon juice that comes together easily while the chicken breasts are resting. It’s a simple, little pan sauce that complements the heartier mascarpone sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 oz mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 oz each, pounded to an even thickness
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, about 3 inches wide
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Preparation

  1. Place the mascarpone in a small food processor and add the juice of half a lemon. Process until smooth and creamy. Remove to a bowl and stir in the lemon zest and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Rub the chicken breasts with dried sage and season salt and pepper. Wrap each with a slice of prosciutto and place seam-side down on a plate.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, swirling to blend. When the butter has melted, add the prosciutto-wrapped chicken, seam-side down.
  4. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 8-9 minutes.
  5. Turn the breasts over, pressing to adhere the prosciutto seam, if needed, and cook until golden on the other side and just cooked through, 7-8 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken breasts to a clean plate.
  6. Add the wine and juice of the remaining lemon half to the skillet and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up brown bits on the bottom. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the chicken breasts with pan sauce spooned on top and around. Dollop with the mascarpone sauce and serve right away.