Stuffed Chicken Breasts
6 boneless chicken breast halves (6 to 7 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 ounces Asiago cheese, thinly sliced
6 ounces proscuitto, thinly sliced
Potato - Arugula Salad
6 yellow Finn (or other thin-skinned) potatoes, cut into sixths
2 fennel bulbs, cored, trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cherries
1 bunch arugula or watercress
6 ounces fresh tart cherries, stemmed and pitted
2 ounces aged Asiago cheese, shaved
For the stuffed chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Pound the chicken breasts, skin side down, to 1/4 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Top each with a slice of Asiago cheese and a slice of proscuitto. Fold the chicken breasts in half. Secure with wooden picks to enclose the filling.
Brown in hot oil, skin side down, over medium-high heat. Transfer to a baking pan, skin side up. Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Remove pan from the oven, and remove the wooden picks. Set aside. Raise the oven temperature to 375°F.
For the potato-arugula salad, in a baking dish, toss the potatoes, fennel, and onion with 1/4 cup of oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 45 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil, the vinegar, the cinnamon, and the cloves, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Let stand for 30 minutes to blend the flavors.
To assemble, toss the hot potato mixture with the arugula, fresh cherries, and salad dressing. Place the salad on serving plates. Place the chicken breasts next to the salad. Top all with the shaved Asiago cheese.
Mexicali: Instead of proscuitto, use sliced smoked ham. For the cheese, use sliced Cheddar with salsa. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Grill and serve with salsa.
Bacon: Instead of proscuitto, use bacon slices. For the cheese, use crumbled blue. Bake and serve with potato salad.
Swiss: For the cheese, use thin-sliced Swiss cheese. Instead of proscuitto, use ham.
Italiano: Fill the chicken breast with a mixture of Parma ham, walnuts, and a blend of Gorgonzola and mascarpone cheeses. Roast and slice; serve over wild greens with orange sections and dried cherries.