The Italian word saltimbocca loosely translates as ‘jump in the mouth’. This dish is traditionally made with veal, ham and sage. We have mixed it up a little in this recipe using chicken in place of veal. We think it truly lives up to its name and will make your taste buds sing!
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Boil a large saucepan of water with a pinch of salt. Peel the butternut squash, cut it in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice it widthways into slices about 1cm thick and then chop it into 1cm cubes. Remove the tops and bottoms off the green beans. Peel and grate the garlic. Pick the sage leaves off their stalks. Put each chicken breast between two sheets of clingfilm and bash with a frying pan until 2cm thick.
Put the butternut into the saucepan. Cook for 15 – 20 mins. TIP: The butternut is cooked when you can easily slip a knife through. Once cooked, drain in a colander. Season with salt and black pepper and add a knob of butter (if you have some). Mash until smooth.
While the butternut is cooking, heat a drizzle of oil or a knob of butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Once hot, throw in the sage leaves. Cook until crispy, about 1 minute. Remove them from the pan to some kitchen paper. Leave the pan on medium heat and add a little more oil.
Season your chicken with black pepper, then lay a slice of serrano ham on top of each chicken breast. Carefully lay the chicken in the pan, ham-side down. Arrange the sage leaves on top of the chicken, then lay another slice of serrano ham on top. Cook the chicken for 1 – 2 mins on each side then pop on a baking tray. Roast on the top shelf of your oven for 10 – 12 mins. TIP: The chicken is cooked, when it is no longer pink in the middle.
While the chicken is roasting, put the frying pan back on medium heat and add your green beans. Stir-fry for 6 – 7 mins, until slightly crispy. Add your garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat.
Serve the squashed butternut on plates with the chicken saltimbocca and garlicky beans on the side.