When I started cooking this, it was a rather different affair. I got the recipe for a chicken saltimbocca with green beans from Olive Magazine and gave it an “a la Feisty Tapas” twist, I originally kind of followed it but then started to play with it, until I found the perfect way of making it.
My husband loves it and my toddler will eat it, I find it delicious. I couldn’t ask for more really.
If you’re vegetarian, just follow steps 5 and 6 for very tasty beans with shallots.
- Chicken thigh fillets (calculate 2 per person), it’s lovely the next day if there are leftovers
- Parma ham slices (as many as chicken thigh fillets)
- 1 egg, whisked and in a bowl or deep plate (don’t worry if you suddenly realise that you’re out of eggs though, it will work without it)
- Breadcrumbs spread on a plate with a bit of salt and pepper seasoning, not much (they can be fresh, out of a pack or homemade, whatever you have handy). If you got everything else but forgot the breadcrumbs, just use plain flour. I tend to make my own breadcrumbs in my Thermomix and freeze them if I don’t need them straight away, they can be used straight from the freezer
- Olive oil
- 300 g fine trimmed beans (more if feeding lots of hungry people)
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 100 vegetable stock (you’ll need 150 to 200 ml if not using wine)
- 100 ml dry white wine (optional but it goes well with the meal too and I bet you deserve a glass!)
- A large frying pan
- A baking tray
- A healthy appetite
1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/190ºC fan/gas mark 6.
2. Wrap each chicken
thigh fillet in a slice of parma ham, you can also half the fillets and buy extra slices of parma ham, they will cook faster that way. To make it easy and organised, I
personally lay each parma ham slice out on a board, place the thigh on
top and wrap.
3. Coat each fillet first with the beaten egg and then with the breadcrumbs and reserve (it’s good if the breadcrumbs have a chance to harden up a bit).
4. Fry the chicken in olive oil over a medium to high heat until golden, place in an oven tray and bake for 20-30 minutes. Make sure it’s cooked through before serving. If you didn’t manage to get all the breadcrumbs to go golden in the frying pan and they are a bit loose (it happens to me when in a hurry), just turn them a couple of times while in the oven.
5. In the meantime, boil the beans for 3-4 minutes until tender or place in the Varoma of the Thermomix with 800 g of water in the bowl: 20-25 minutes, speed 1 (don’t forget that you could make a soup for tomorrow’s lunch in the bowl at the same time).
6. Add a slice of butter, not very thick, to the frying pan (don’t wash it!) and let it melt, then add the sliced shallots and let them sweat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally so that they are coated. Add the vegetable stock (add the wine now too if you’re using some, remember it’s 100 ml of each in that case) and let it bubble. Add extra stock if it’s too dry. Add a tiny bit of flour if it needs thickening. Looking good? Then add the beans and coat them well with the lovely sauce.
Get the chicken out of the oven, serve with Spanish flair be it prettily, quickly or whatever you’re in the mood for (let’s face it, sometimes all we want is to eat). You could always place it all in serving dishes on the table and tell your lot to help themselves. But for that you have to call everyone: ¡A la mesa!
Hint: I don’t tend to add much salt and pepper to this as the parma ham is naturally salty and adds plenty of flavour. Next time try adding some finely chopped fresh (or even dry) parsley or your favourite herb to the breadcrumbs.
Tip: If you have lemon at home, try serving it with wedges to sprinkle some lemoon juice over the chicken and/or add a nice dash to the shallot sauce while it’s cooking. It works really well.
Note: I tend to use old plates for the raw eggs and meat, something I always saw done at home in Spain when growing up. Although it confuses my husband no end.