(Adapted from Food & Wine)
- 4 5- to 6-ounce boneless chicken breasts
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 slices of bacon, cooked and minced (optional)
- bread crumbs (optional)
- With a small, sharp knife, cute a slit in each chicken breast to form a small pocket. With the breast lying flat, slide the knife into the side of the fattest part of the breast and slide it across to form a pocket. make sure the entry cut is not wider than an inch or two and be careful not to cut through the sides or bottom of the chicken. Fold the prosciutto slices and slip 1 under the skin of each breast.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/8 cup of the mascarpone with the thyme, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Carefully stuff 1 tablespoon of the mascarpone mixture into each chicken breast pocket, pressing lightly to form an even layer. Use a tooth pick to close up the opening.
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonreactive ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add breasts to skillet. Sear each side for 5-6 minutes. Transfer to oven and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook for 2 more minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter; keep warm.
- Set the same skillet over moderate heat. Add the lemon juice and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of mascarpone and simmer, stirring, until thickened and smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, pour the sauce over the chicken. Top with bacon and bread crumbs, if desired. Serve.
(I served this chicken with Alex Guarnaschelli's Leeks Vinaigrette!)