Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicken With Sage and Proscuitto by Gardener Janet

There are many varieties of garden sage available. All prefer full sun and pests seem to leave the plants alone. These perennial plants grow quickly; they have beautiful foliage, blue/purple blossoms and the leaves taste and smell great.

You can use fresh sage in any recipe calling for dried sage. Two teaspoons of fresh sage can be substituted for one teaspoon of dried sage.

Try pinching several sage leaves from your plant, wash them and let them dry on a paper towel. Add a tsp or two of butter in a skillet and when melted, add the leaves gently turning until crisp. Take out and let cool. These crispy fried leaves are a burst of flavor. Crush them and add them to pasta, with salt and pepper and a little parmesan cheese.

One of my favorite quick entrées is Chicken with Sage and Proscuitto. Take a boneless chicken breast and place a sage leave (or two) lengthwise on the backside of the chicken. Cover the sage with a thinly sliced piece of proscuitto ham. Pound the chicken with a mallet (place wax paper over the chicken/sage/proscuitto to keep from making a mess).

Sautee the chicken (sage/proscuitto side up) in extra virgin olive oil, turning when browned. Cook completely, and then remove from the pan to a heated serving plate. Meanwhile, deglaze the pan with red wine (pour wine in the pan and loosen the drippings from cooking the chicken). This will make a rich sauce that picks up the flavors from the chicken. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.