So, you decided to invite people over for a low-key dinner at the last minute and have nothing prepared? Well, look no further than this Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Roast Capsicum and Pecorino Cheese. It’s extremely easy and simple to prepare, can be prepared in advance and popped in the oven once guests arrive, looks impressive with its personalised tidy parcel-like appearance, is extremely flavourful with the prosciutto, capsicum and pecorino, and cooked this way is wonderfully moist!
I love cooking to impress but that doesn’t mean that when I have family or close friends over I need to serve a fancy three course meal. What I always strive for is a beautifully executed main course. Friends and family have come over to spend time with you, so the less time spent in the kitchen the better.
Our friend and family meals often start with a plate of finger food in the lounge room: usually with a couple of great dips, maybe some cheese, torn bread, grilled chorizo with lemon wedges. Enough to get our tastebuds going while giving us time to find out about what is new in everyone’s lives.
I then serve a tasty main dish at the dining table and later we retire again to the lounge for a dessert platter of whatever quality chocolates or treats we have in the pantry. It’s a handy template we have perfected over the past few years and one which our friends and family have come to love.
We invited Scotty’s mum over on Saturday night as it had been a couple of weeks since we had seen her and so we picked up a few dips for entree, grabbed some Turkish Delight for our dessert platter and decided to serve up this wonderful prosciutto wrapped chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus. Add to the menu a couple of bottles of lovely white wine and a documentary about Charles and Ray Eames after dinner and we had ourselves a wonderful evening!
PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED CHICKEN WITH CAPSICUM AND PECORINO
4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1 red capsicum
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
5 sprigs or lemon thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 batons of pecorino cheese
8 slices of prosciutto
Preheat the oven grill and place the red capsicum under it, blackening the skin of all sides by turning as each side blackens. Once all sides are blackened remove from grill and place the capsicum in a plastic bag for a few minutes. Remove from bag and peel the blackened skin off the capsicum. Then cut the top and bottom off, cut open and remove the seeds. Slice into long thin pieces and set aside.
In a bowl combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon thyme, salt and pepper and mix well. Open the chicken thighs into rectangular fillets and rub 1/4 of the mixture onto the chicken. Add two lengths of capsicum and a baton of pecorino cheese. Roll up the chicken thigh and then wrap with two slices of prosciutto and tie together with a few pieces of string. Repeat with remaining chicken and refrigerate until ready to cook.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cut off string, and serve with mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus (dressed with olive oil and roasted hazelnuts).