Pollo alla Valdostana (Chicken with Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese)
This dish from the Val d’Aosta region of northern Italy combines three local ingredients: white wine, prosciutto, and fontina cheese. The chicken is lightly pounded into an even thickness, dredged in flour, and sautéed in butter. White wine is stirred in to make a sauce, and the browned chicken breasts are covered with slices of prosciutto and cheese before serving.
What to buy: Prosciutto and fontina can be found at most grocery stores. Though purists would call for fontina Val d’Aosta, a Dutch fontina will work fine too.
- 4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 2 to 3 ounces thinly sliced fontina cheese
1Place 1 chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a meat mallet or a frying pan to gently pound it to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch. Repeat with the remaining breasts.
2Place the flour in a wide, shallow dish, season generously with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Dredge each breast in the flour mixture and shake off any excess.
3Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the chicken breasts and sauté until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
4Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to incorporate any browned bits into the sauce.
5Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Divide the prosciutto among the chicken breasts, then divide the cheese. Cook, spooning sauce over the chicken to help melt the cheese, until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. (Add a few tablespoons of water if the sauce gets too thick.) Season with pepper and serve.
Beverage pairing: Try a northern Italian white with this, something sharp and defined like the 2005 Pinot Grigio from the master of the Alto Adige, Alois Lageder. It has sharp green pear and herbal flavors that will highlight all the elements in this simple dish.
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