Called Petti Farciti al Mascarpone in the original Italian, this dish is from Recipes from an Italian Butcher, the new book from The Silver Spoon Kitchen published by Phaidon. The ideal Christmas gift for every Italian food lover or for anyone who wants to eat authentic Italian food at home. It’s packed with 150 genuine straightforward recipes, most published for the first time in English. It explains the different cuts, cooking methods, and techniques unique to each meat type along with side dishes that best complement them.
Preparation: 50 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing
9 oz/250 g mushrooms
Juice of 1 lemon, strained
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 skinless, boneless uncooked chicken breasts
2 cooked, cured ham slices, halved
Scant 1/2 cup (3 and 1/2 oz/100g) mascarpone cheese
Salt and pepper
Mixed salad leaves, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6. Grease a roasting pan with butter.
2. Chop the mushrooms and sprinkle with the lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small skillet (frying pan), add the garlic, and cook until it turns brown, then remove and discard it. Add the parsley and mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove the skillet from the heat.
3. Slice horizontally through each chicken breast without cutting all the way through. Open out each portion like a book, pound with a meat tenderiser, and season with salt and pepper. Place a piece of ham on one side of each piece of chicken, divide the mascarpone among the chicken breasts, and top each one with 1 tablespoon of the mushrooms. Fold the chicken breasts together again (like closing a book). Cut four slices out of the centre of the tomato, place one slice on each chicken breast, season with salt, and dot with the remaining butter. Secure with toothpicks (cocktail sticks).
4. Place the chicken breasts in the prepared roasting pan, cover with kitchen foil, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, preheat the grill (or broiler). Discard the kitchen foil and brown the chicken breasts under the broiler.
6. Serve the stuffed chicken breasts with mixed salad leaves.
Recipes from an Italian Butcher: 150 inspiring and authentic Italian recipes for meat, poultry, and game – from the world’s most trusted authority on Italian cuisine is available to buy from Phaidon and good bookstores.
The Italian approach to cooking with meat is to keep things straightforward and maximize the flavour. This book showcases simple, hearty dishes that are true to this tradition, from chicken cacciatore and braised beef with Barolo to osso buco and Roman lamb. With more than 150 recipes, most published for the first time in English, it’s comprehensive and authoritative, demystifying the different cuts, cooking methods, and techniques unique to each meat type – along with the side dishes that best complement them.
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