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4 large, whole, skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise (8 pieces)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons dried basil
8 ounces mozzarella, grated
8 slices prosciutto or smoked ham
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup tomato sauce (or your favorite store-bought sauce)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Large frying pan
11 x 17-inch baking pan
||Preheat the oven to 350°F.
||Using a meat pounder, flatten the chicken breasts to a thickness of 1/4-inch and arrange them
on your worktable with the smooth outer side down. Season each breast lightly with salt and
pepper and a pinch of the basil.
||Place about 2 tablespoons of the grated mozzarella
in the center of each breast, leaving a 1/2-inch margin all around. Lay a slice of prosciutto
over the cheese.
||Fold the breasts lengthwise, place on a platter, and set aside.
||Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Put the bread crumbs in a pie plate.
||Dip each chicken bundle in the egg and then dredge it in the bread crumbs,
holding it carefully to keep it from unfolding. Gently shake the bundle to release excess
bread crumbs, then place it back on the platter, seam side down.
||Place a large
frying pan on Medium-High heat and let it get hot, about 45 seconds. Pour 1 tablespoons of
the olive oil in the center of the pan and place 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in the pool of
oil. When the butter stops sizzling, spread it around the pan and add 4 of the breasts, seam
side down. Cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook 2 minutes more.
Transfer these bundles to the baking pan, wipe out the frying pan with a dish towel, and repeat with the
remaining oil, butter, and breasts.
||Place the chicken in the oven and bake until firm and
springy to the touch, about 8 minutes.
||While the chicken is baking, heat the tomato sauce in
a small saucepan. Arrange the cooked breasts on a serving platter, then top each one with a bit of tomato
sauce and a sprinkling of parsley. Serve immediately.
Tip The chicken breasts can be prepared through Step 4 up to a day ahead of time. Refrigerate, tightly covered, until ready to use.
Serving Suggestions Serve with a simple pasta or rice pilaf and a vegetable, such as green beans,
zucchini and tomatoes, or broccoli.