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Chicken alla Valdostana

Italian Entree

CHICKEN ALLA VALDOSTANA

INGREDIENTS

4 chicken breasts
¼ cup flour
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons butter
1½ tablespoons olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
4 proscuitto (aka Parma ham) slices
4 slices Fontina or Gruyère or Gouda slices

SPECIAL UTENSIL

kitchen mallet

Serves 4. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Pound chicken breasts with kitchen mallet until they are ½” thick. Add flour, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Add chicken breasts to bowl. Turn chicken breasts until they are thoroughly coated. Add butter and oil to large frying pan. Use high heat until butter melts and foams. Stir frequently to ensure even melting. Add chicken breasts. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side on until both sides turn golden brown. Remove chicken and set aside. Keep butter and oil.

Add wine to pan. Heat for 3 minutes or until liquid bubbles. Stir frequently. Top each chicken breast with a slice of proscuitto and a slice of Fontina cheese. Return chicken to pan. Spoon liquid from pan over each chicken breast. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Pairs well with the expensive Italian white wine your guests should be bringing.

TIDBITS

1) One of the most successful series of booklets ever is “Where’s Waldo?” Here, a child needs to find the character WaldoTM hidden on a page with of hundreds of lookalikes. This challenge gives new mothers time to perform only distantly remembered pleasures such as taking naps or being undisturbed in the bathroom.

2) In Italy, however, they play “Where’s Valdo?” This title of this recipe is one example. “Valdo” is cleverly hidden in “Valdostana.” Yes, this is a word game in contrast to the pictorial “Waldo.” In this case, young Italian mothers invite their little ones to find “Valdostana” in the daily newspaper. Sometimes it takes all day to find that word in print. This gives mothers a golden chance to get things done. And all that reading does wonders for children’s vocabulary. Indeed, most six-year olds in Italy can read at the fifth-grade level.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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