I have a few go-to recipes for entertaining, and this week’s Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Bourbon Mushroom Sauce is one of them. The dish is perfect company fare because you can do most of the preparation in advance.
The first step is marinating some boneless, skinless chicken breast halves in a combination of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, rosemary and olive oil. I like to marinate it overnight, but it can be cut to an hour or two.
This is one of the rare occasions when I serve the chicken breast as is, without cutting it in half horizontally into two smaller cutlets. If you’d prefer smaller pieces of chicken be sure to decrease the cooking time.
The marinated chicken breasts are then wrapped with some sliced prosciutto. I suggest baking the chicken breasts, but they also can be grilled. When grilling the chicken I don’t usually use the prosciutto because it tends to stick to the grill.
The sauce for the chicken can be made in advance – up to a day before your dinner party. It’s a restaurant-quality sauce which includes one shortcut ingredient: a package of gravy mix, which thickens the sauce nicely.
The base for the sauce is some sautéed chopped shallots, garlic, rosemary and mushrooms. Sundried tomatoes add a little color and flavor to the sauce.
Just before serving, add a touch of bourbon and a little whipping cream to the sauce. If you don’t have any bourbon on hand, sherry or madeira wine can substitute.
When your guests arrive, just pop the chicken into the oven to bake for 40 minutes while you enjoy beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Reheat the sauce, covered, over medium-low heat until it is hot.
Serve the chicken and sauce atop some orzo pasta with a side of roasted asparagus. I like to cook orzo like rice, with a two parts liquid to one part rice ratio. For six servings, you’ll need about four cups of chicken broth and two cups of orzo. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan and then stir in the orzo. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and cook until done, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then, stir in some fresh lemon juice (about two tablespoons), a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs such as basil, chives and parsley, one tablespoon of butter and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
You can roast the asparagus in the same oven as the chicken. Lay the asparagus on the baking sheet, drizzle with oil and use your hands to gently toss the asparagus to cover it all with some oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast for about 12 minutes.
PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED CHICKEN WITH BOURBON MUSHROOM SAUCE