Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ruth Pretty's Prosciutto Chicken with Tomatoes

Caterer Ruth Pretty
During my stay in New Zealand I had the good fortune to attend a party catered by the delightful and generous Ruth Pretty.

The food was divine. Here's one of her latest recipes.



 Ruth Pretty's Prosciutto Chicken with Tomatoes
Serves 8
4 chicken breasts (skin on, trimmed, rinsed and dried)
1¼ TBS grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2  1/2 TBS finely chopped parsley
1¾ tsp. flaky sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 large slices prosciutto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180ºC )

Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic and, using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound breast to 1/4-inch (5mm-7mm) thickness.

To make rub: Into a small bowl place lemon rind, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Place chicken skin side down on a clean work surface. and rub the exposed surface of each breast with 1 teaspoon of the rub. Starting from the narrow end roll each breast like a scroll.

Lay prosciutto out on a clean work surface, place a rolled chicken breast onto each slice and roll to fully cover the chicken.

Lightly grease a low-sided baking tray and place prosciutto chicken onto tray. Place into preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or till prosciutto is crispy and chicken is tender.

Remove from oven, cover with a heavy tea towel, and rest for 5 minutes.

8 Slow Roasted Tomatoes
oil for greasing tray
8 medium tomatoes, cored and halved
3 TBS olive oil
3 TBS balsamic vinegar
flaky sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (150ºC)

Place tomatoes on a baking tray brushed with oil.
Into a small bowl place measured olive oil and balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Drizzle over tomatoes and sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 1 hour or till tomatoes have softened and are lightly caramelized on top. Serve warm or hot.
Verjuice and Basil Dressing*
(1/3 cup + 2 tsp) extra virgin olive oil (if possible an olive oil with a soft flavor profile)
(3 tbsp) verjuice*
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 large basil leaves, roughly torn

Into a small bowl place olive oil, verjuice, salt and pepper and whisk well till amalgamated.  Just prior to serving add basil and gently stir to combine.

To serve: Slice each breast thickly on the angle into six pieces. Place Slow Roasted Tomatoes onto a large warm platter and place chicken on tomatoes. Drizzle with Verjuice and Basil Dressing and serve immediately.

* You can find verjuice, the juice of unripened (green) grapes, at a specialty food shop. It is softer and more wine friendly than vinegar in a sauce. Google it and you'll find a great N. Y. Times article on it by John Willoughby.

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