Friday, December 30, 2011

Chicken Chatanika

Sometimes you come up with a dish....and you simply have no idea what to call it. I decided to call this "Chicken Chatanika" - named after the river that I love to spend time at. I thought it had a nice ring to it.

So...Chicken Chatanika.

In a small skillet, heat a Tablespoon of olive oil, and saute 3 minced cloves of Garlic, and a finely chopped shallot. Cook these until they are tender.

In a bowl, you are going to add the sauteed goodness to 2 cups of chopped spinach.

Then add 2 tomatoes, that have been diced into about 1/2 inch pieces.

And finally, 3 ounces (or so) of Proscuitto. You want to roughly chop this...but I find it easiest to simply hold it by the end, and snip it over the bowl with some kitchen shears.

Stir it all together, and set it aside.

In a shallow dish, whisk 3 eggs together, until they are smooth.

In another dish, place about 3 cups soft bread crumbs. (Take a few slices of bread, and BUZZ them in a food processor.)

Now, you will need about 10 slices of "thin sliced" chicken. I buy it already cut this way at the store. It just makes my life easy. Seriously. If you can't find thin sliced, you'll need 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cut them in half the long way, and then pound them thin (between wax paper or in a ziplock bag) - they should be no more than 1/2 inch thick.

Take one "thin sliced" chicken breast, sprinkle with a pinch of salt & pepper and then spoon about a tablespoon of the mixture onto it. Be sure to get a little of everything in each spoonful.

Fold the chicken over, and "pin" it closed on each side with a toothpick.

Repeat this step with all of the chicken slices.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet (preferrably non-stick) over medium heat.

Dip a chicken breast into the egg...

And then into the bread crumbs.

Coat both sides.

And into the hot skillet...

Cook until it is golden brown, turn and brown the other side. You can only fit a few at a time in your as you brown them, place them into a buttered 9x13 baking dish. Add more oil to the skillet as needed.

When you have all of the chicken breasts browned, put them in the oven. You are going to bake these 20-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the largest one, reads 165 degrees.

While they are baking.... Begin cooking your pasta. I used can use egg noodles, linguine, or whatever you choose. You want this to get done right around the time the chicken does.

You remember this?

You don't want all of that flavor to go to waste. So in a small skillet, melt 1 Tb butter. (Ignore the stray piece of spinach...)

Add the mixture and 2 Tablespoons white wine to the skillet.

Let that cook over low heat until it all starts to meld together.

Now, in a saucepan, saute a small, finely chopped shallot in a Tablespoon of Butter.

When it is tender, pour in 1 cup red wine, and toss in 1 cup of fresh, sliced mushrooms. (I used "flip flop" wine's Pinot Noir)

Bring these to a boil, then reduce the heat a touch, and let them cook until the liquid is reduced down to about 1/2 cup.

Look how the spinach mixture has just gotten happy in the skillet! When it is cooked and happy, turn off the heat.

Now back to the saucepan.... Pour in 1/2 cup Half & Half or Cream...whichever you prefer...and 1 teaspoon Thyme.

Let that cook together for about a minute, and then add in 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) that is room temperature, and has been cut into chunks.

Add to it a pinch of salt and pepper, and then whisk it over low heat, until the butter is all melted.

To serve....

Toss the cooked, drained pasta with the red wine & mushroom sauce.

Remove the toothpicks. I find this is most easily done with a clean "leatherman" or needle-nose pliers and a fork. Honest. Brace the chicken with the back of the fork (tines over the toothpick) grab the end of the toothpick with the pliers and pull with a twisting motion.

Place a chicken breast on the plate, and top it with a spoonful of the veggie "salsa." Side it with the pasta, and sprinkle both with parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! I know my husband did!


Chicken Chatanika
by Conni Smith

10 “thin sliced” chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
4 Tb Olive Oil, divided
1 Shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 c Spinach, coarsely chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped into ½ inch pieces
3 ounces Prosciutto, coarsely chopped
3 eggs
Salt & Pepper
3 cups soft Bread Crumbs
1 Tb Butter
2 Tb white Wine

Wine sauce:
1 Tb + ½ c Butter, divided
1 small Shallot, finely chopped
1 cup Red Wine (Pinot Noir)
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
½ c Half & Half
1 tsp Thyme
Salt & Pepper

1 1lb Package Pasta, cooked according to package directions (Campanelle, Linguinie, Egg Noodles, whatever you prefer)

Parmesan Cheese


In a small skillet, saute shallot and garlic in 1 Tb oil, until tender. In a bowl, combine spinach, tomatoes, Prosciutto, and garlic mixture. Set aside.
Whisk eggs in a shallow dish. In another dish, place the bread crumbs.

Take one chicken breast slice, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt & pepper. Top with a Tablespoon of the spinach mixture. Fold breast over, and “pin” closed with a toothpick on each side. Repeat with all of the chicken slices. Reserve remaining spinach mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Dip a chicken breast into the egg, and then into the bread crumbs, coating both sides. Place breast into the hot skillet, and cook until golden brown. Turn, and cook on other side as well. Place in a buttered 9x13 baking dish. Repeat with all of the chicken slices. Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees in the largest piece.


Start your pasta.

In a small skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Add the remaining spinach mixture, and the white wine. Cook together on low heat until it all “melds” together. About 6-8 minutes.

In a saucepan, you will prepare the sauce. Saute shallot in 1 Tb butter until tender. Add wine and mushrooms. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat a little, and cook until liquid is reduced to about ½ cup. Add in Half & Half, thyme, and a pinch each of Salt & Pepper. Whisk together and cook for about a minute. Add in remaining ½ c butter. Whisk together until completely melted. Remove from heat.

Toss cooked pasta with wine sauce.

Remove toothpicks from chicken.

Serve pasta on a plate, side-by-side with the chicken. Top chicken with a spoonful of the cooked spinach mixture, and sprinkle all with a little Parmesan cheese.


Printable Version: Chicken Chatanika