While it may be September, and I may or may not be surrounded by pumpkin-scented candles, I'm also looking out onto my deck and seeing some beautiful ripe tomatoes that are absolutely calling to be eaten! I don't know about you, but in some ways I am 100% ready for fall, while I also would love to sneak in a few more tomato-corn-basilesque dinners before heading for the land of butternut squash and pumpkin puree. That being said, I knew I wanted to have one more dinner in rotation with the all-time trio of fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, and lots and lots of basil!
One of my favorite dishes has always been chicken saltimbocca. I absolutely adore the salty prosciutto, zesty lemon, and dry white wine combination with chicken, so this caprese saltimbocca seemed like a must. We'll start by grabbing the most beautiful tomatoes we can find. I've learned over the years that the simpler the recipe, the more important it is to find the best quality ingredients you can. This time of year, a couple beautiful, ripe, extra red tomatoes should be in arms length and ready for you to grab!
Once you have those, some fresh mozzarella, and of course, lots of basil, it's time to turn your attention to the chicken. There must be some science to this that I do not understand, but I would swear on my life that chicken breasts taste better when they're thin. Also, in a recipe like this, thinner pieces will brown perfectly while also cooking through in just enough time to get the fresh mozzarella nice and melty.
Once your chicken is thinly pounded, it's as easy as browning each piece on each side until golden, then layering on your delicious trio ingredients waiting at the ready. Add on some thinly sliced tomatoes, then top with the fresh mozzarella. In my opinion, fresh mozzarella is one of those things that you can really use a heavy hand with, and I'm always asking myself, is there ever too much? For that reason, in this case I find it easiest to use the largest sized fresh mozzarella ball you can find so you can slice the perfect size pieces.
Next, we'll sprinkle on some salt and pepper of course, then top with lots of ribboned fresh basil. Again, can there ever really be enough basil? So use as much as your heart desires! Then it's truly as easy as adding the chicken broth and lemon juice to the pan, covering that up, and letting the chicken continue to cook through, and the fresh mozzarella to melt just enough.
Lastly, we'll take that cover off, get super excited over the best smelling combination ever, then lay some prosciutto right over the top of each piece. While the recipe calls for one piece of prosciutto per piece of chicken, you can definitely add more or less depending on what you prefer. In some cases, I prefer the prosicutto just the way it is, but in this case quickly crisping it up under the broiler made for the perfect pairing with the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. So pop that whole pan in the oven quickly, and watch closely as the prosciutto slices crisp up ever so slightly.
Carefully remove the pan from the oven, think briefly about how incredible a one-pan dinner is, then top with additional basil, salt, and pepper. With dishes with lemon in them, I also always love to squeeze some additional fresh juice on at the end. Serve these up on their own, over some pasta, or paired with a nice side-salad.
With fall around the corner, enjoy the last of the late-summer produce with a 25 minute dinner to send off all the best seasonal flavors.
The tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella trio, plus chicken and prosciutto, making for the best late-summer easy chicken saltimbocca.
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