A few weeks back, I had a really proud mom moment when we were eating dinner and my not-yet-three-year-old said, “Mom, is this a sundried tomato?” Add to that him telling me he ate all his prosciutto a few weeks later without my reminding him what it was called, and I was pretty much beaming. This kid eats, recognizes, and loves things that I probably didn’t even get to have until I was in my twenties. Lucky, lucky dude. He’s also in a phase where he calls things his “favorites” and the night we had this he asked what was for dinner. I told him we were having crispy chicken with cheese and ham. He said, “But I want one of my favorites!” and I told him, “I know you’re going to like this dinner because it has a lot of things you like.” Sure enough, he asked for more chicken twice and by the end of the meal, he declared it a new favorite.
Of course it wasn’t just Zachary who enjoyed this dinner—we all did. I adored this meal for so many reasons. You really can’t go wrong with crispy, panko-coated chicken, even if it’s just served on its own. Topped with creamy cheese and salty prosciuitto, this meal feels indulgent, but the fresh and peppery arugula on top keeps this from feeling too heavy and is the perfect counterpart to the rest of the components. Plus, it’s incredibly quick and simple to make, but feels special and is totally company-worthy.
The original recipe actually calls for a triple creme cheese or brie but :::shielding self::: I’ve just never been a huge brie fan. I know, I know, I’m crazy. I can eat it but it’s just never been one of my favorite cheeses. Instead, I went with something that melts well and is still pretty creamy—fontina. It paired really well with the prosciutto and I’ll likely use it again next time, though I’m sure that several cheeses will work in its place if you are so inclined.
Chicken with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Arugula
1.5 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. dijon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. baby arugula
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 (4-5 oz.) chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4″ thickness
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 lb. fontina cheese, thinly sliced
8 thin slices prosciutto
To make the arugula salad: Whisk the vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste together in a large bowl. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking, to emulsify. Add the arugula and toss to coat.
To make the chicken: Place the flour, eggs, and panko in 3 separate shallow bowls. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on each side, and then dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip into the egg , letting excess drip off, and then dredge both sides into the panko mixture, being sure to coat the chicken completely.
Heat a large nonstick skillet (or two) with the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and sizzling, add the chicken. Cook until golden brown on one side and then flip and cook until done, about 5-6 minutes total. During the last minute, place the fontina on top of the chicken so it begins to melt.
Plate the chicken and top each piece with 2 slices of prosciutto and 1/4 of the arugula salad.