Chicken Proscuitto Parmesan

I have been making this in one form or another for years. Along comes Jamie Oliver and his Ministry of Food and this recipe that is killer plain and simple. You'll thank me later - trust me this is brilliant! Lovely with mashed potatoes and green veggies or a crunchy salad.

2 skinless chicken breast filets (preferably free-range or organic)
black pepper, freshly ground
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, zested
1¼ oz Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
6 slices prosciutto
olive oil

Garnish:
lemon wedges
olive oil

Grate your Parmesan. Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks. Carefully score the underside of the chicken breasts in a crisscross fashion with a small knife. Season with a little pepper (you don't need salt as the prosciutto is quite salty). Lay your breasts next to each other and sprinkle over most of the thyme leaves. Grate a little lemon zest over them, then sprinkle with the Parmesan. Lay 3 prosciutto slices on each chicken breast, overlapping them slightly. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves. Put a square of plastic wrap over each breast and give them a few really good bashes with the bottom of a saucepan until they're about ½" thick.

Put a frying pan over medium heat. Remove plastic wrap and carefully transfer the chicken breast, prosciutto side down, into the pan. Drizzle over some olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, turning halfway through, giving the ham side an extra 30 seconds to crisp up.

Either serve the chicken breasts whole or cut them into thick slices and pile them on a plate. Serve with some lemon wedges for squeezing over, and a good drizzle of olive oil.

Charles Woollett

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