11 January 2012

Leftover Proscuitto?

To be honest, that title wouldn't normally headline the first post of a new year, but in Doha it's a bit of a novelty. Pork arrived early December in the form of bacon and sausages - not great quality but it still oinked so we got pretty excited. Proscuitto has arrived in the last couple of weeks, and it is good, seriously, seriously good! I crisped up the first batch to add to an avocado, sundried tomato and pine nut salad, and the leftovers I used to wrap some chicken stuffed with my favourite red capsicum pesto. It came out of the oven deliciously moist and decadently crisp with a lovely spicy nutty capsicum filling - I mainly use this filling as a dip, it's fabulous with fresh crusty bread - I had some leftover so thought I would try it with the chicken breasts and it was fabulous.

Proscuitto Wrapped Chicken Breast stuffed with Spicy Red Capsicum Pesto
(serves two)

I use the term red peppers and capsicum side by side here to cater to my American and English and Oz/Kiwi friends. Basically it's the big fat not hot red peppers/capsicum about the size of an orange.

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 slices proscuitto
  • 4 tablespoons red capsicum pesto

Red capsicum and walnut pesto
(makes 1/2 cup)

  • 2 red peppers, quartered and deveined and deseeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or pine nuts) chopped roughly
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed chile flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


  1. To make the pesto, pop the capsicum skin side up under a grill and grill until the skin is mostly blackened. Remove from the heat, pop into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to steam and cool. Once cold, peel the skin off the peppers and chop finely.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and stir fry the onions, garlic, walnuts and chile flakes for a few minutes until soft. Pop into a food processor with the capsicum, vinegar and remaining olive oil and blend till quite chunky.
  3. Butterfly the chicken breast - slice the chicken breast in half horizontally without cutting all the way through.
  4. Spread a tablespoon or two on top of the chicken breast.
  5. Fold in half and wrap in proscuitto, secure with toothpicks
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees fahrenheit) until chicken is moist but cooked - pop a toothpick into the meatiest piece and when ready the juices will run clear.
  7. Serve over your favourite green, or in my case I served it over a lovely quinoa salad.