1 thick (about 3/4-1 lb) boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced in half laterally to create two thinner pieces
2-4 slices provolone
2-4 slices prosciutto
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
4 large cremini mushrooms, rinsed, dried, and thickly sliced
1/3 cup sweet onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 t Mediterranean oregano
1/8 t ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup slightly sweet white wine
Spoon Mage™ Note:
This recipe makes two fancy chicken servings and is easy to double if you have more at the table.
The precise number of slices for provolone and prosciutto will vary depending upon the size of the toppings and the size of the chicken breasts. These days, chicken pieces can be pretty big. You will need enough cheese and prosciutto to cover the top of each piece of chicken. Be generous. It’s a dinner meant to be lavish.
Good wines to use are Chablis, sweeter Chardonnays or some Pinot Gris. Look for the words “sweet” or “fruity” in the description. Do not use the heavy German wines. The wine needs to stay light in its description. I used Acrobat Pinot Gris which was described as “fruity and smooth”. It worked perfectly.
Preheat the oven to 375° F
Pat the chicken dry and slice in half horizontally. Place in baking dish sprayed with your favorite non-stick spray. Top with provolone and then the prosciutto. Set aside while you make the sauce.
Melt butter into olive oil over medium high heat.
Add mushrooms and onions, sauté, stirring every now and then, until the onions and mushrooms brown and their liquids are released.
Reduce to medium and add garlic, sauté one minute.
Add the seasonings, stock and wine. Stir well.
Raise the heat to high in order to reduce and thicken the sauce a bit. This will take about 3 minutes. Do not let it boil away. This is not the time to answer the phone, ok?
Pour the mushroom mixture over and around the prepped chicken breasts.
Bake, uncovered, at 375° F for 40 minutes. Then check for doneness.
The length of time in the oven will depend upon how thick your chicken pieces are. If the chicken slices are particularly thin, check the thickest piece after 30 minutes. Extend the time if your chicken breast was one of those dinosaur breasts. This is one reason that rice makes an excellent side – it is happy to wait in the covered pot.
Do not undercook or overcook chicken. Check every five minutes after 40 minutes of baking. The slices will be too thin to test for temperature. Use the “is it fork tender” method. If you stick a fork into the meat and give it a twist, the perfectly cooked chicken will be obviously tender and there will be no pink. If there’s pink or the forked meat doesn’t separate easily, it is not done.
Let the pan with the chicken sit out, lightly covered with foil, for five minutes so the juices stop bouncing around and stabilize a bit. Set the rest of the meal out onto the table while you wait patiently for the chicken to calm down.
Serve with vegetables and either rice or potatoes.