Jamie’s Recipe Yearbook and an Escape to Venice

Mr416expat and I had the chance to escape to Venice last weekend.  I’m not going to lie, it was an amazing opportunity.  Mr416expat found a last minute deal on the British Airways website and suddenly we were off for 3 nights in Venice.  This was our first trip to Italy and the country absolutely blew me away.  I’ll let Mr416expat post the pictures from the trip – I know he’s dying to get on the laptop to do some final edits!  I’ll give you a hint though – there are a lot of boats.

While killing time at Gatwick Airport, I stumbled upon the 2011-2012 version of Jamie’s Recipe Yearbook.  I purchased last years version and really enjoyed it as a mini recipe book.

The flight to Venice (1hour and 40 minutes) offered me a chance to really sink my teeth into the recipes.  On arriving back in London I was feeling particularly inspired to cook.  Something about eating parma ham in tiny bread rolls while drinking a delicious glass of 1.50 euro wine reminded me all about why I love cooking.  So here it goes, the first recipe I’ve cooked out of the 2011-2012 Recipe Yearbook with my own Italian twist:

Chicken - it always starts with chicken - note: I got 8 chicken breasts for 9GBP - that's pretty good!

Bash the chicken - in our rather appliance/kitchen gadget limited space that means use a frying pan but I think that's ok

Chicken layered with sage leaves and pancetta has entered the fry pan

dance tiny cherry tomatoes, dance!

dinner - Chicken Saltimbocca served with fresh salad greens and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

Chicken Saltimbocca – Adapted from Jamie’s Recipe Yearbook 2011-2012

2 chicken breasts
a handful of sage leaves
4 slices of pancetta
1 good glug of olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper

Place a long piece of parchment paper on the counter.  Place the chicken breasts on the parchment paper and fold the paper over so that the chicken is sandwiched between the parchment paper.  Using a meat hammer (or a frying pan) smash the chicken until it is of an even thickness (1-2cm).  Laying the sage leaves on top of the chicken, followed by the slices of pancetta.  Season with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat.  When the butter and oil have combined and your pan is hot, add the chicken (sage and pancetta facing up).  Cook for about 2 or 3 minutes, then flip the chicken (with sage and pancetta over).  At this point add the cherry tomatoes, shaking the pan so the tomatoes fall in between the chicken.  The cherry tomatoes will burst and the juices will create a flavourful sauce.  Cook until the chicken is done (roughly 2-3 minutes after your flipped it).

Serve with salad greens drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

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