Chicken Saltimboccollards with Orzo

Saltimbocca (Italian for jumps in the mouth) is traditionally made of veal with prosciutto and sage. It sometimes includes capers as well. Fusing together this traditional Italian dish with my Southern heritage, I created a dish I jokingly call Saltimboccollards. For the saltimboccollards, I replace the veal with chicken and add in a healthy portion of Georgia Collard Greens. Thankfully, I still have collards growing in my garden.

Collards growing in the garden
Collards in the garden

For the Chicken Saltimboccollards, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of chicken cutlets (three cutlets, about four ounces each)
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • 10 to 12 sage leaves
  • 1 bunch of collards, remove the rib and slice the collard leaves into 1/2 in ribbons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 slices of pancetta (about 1 to 1 1/2 ounce total)
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into slices
  • Salt and pepper

Pound the chicken cutlets with a meat mallet until evenly thin, about 1/4 inch in thickness. Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper and set aside.

Chicken cutlets, pounded to about 1/4 inch thick
Pound the chicken cutlets to an even thickness

Heat one teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Gently add the sage leaves and fry until just crispy.

Sage leaves in a pan
Lightly frying sage leaves and infusing the oil

Set the sage leaves aside. Reduce the heat to medium and use the sage-infused oil left in the pan to saute the collards and garlic together until the collards are wilted and soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauteed collards and garlic from the heat.

Collars and garlic sauteed in sage infused oil
Collars and garlic sauteed in sage infused oil

Place a slice of pancetta on each chicken cutlet. Then place a small heap of the sauteed garlic and collards on the slices of pancetta. Place two fresh sage leaves (not the fried leaves) on each heap of garlic and collards. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on each cutlet.

Steps to prepare the chicken cutlets
Preparing the cutlets

Carefully roll the chicken cutlets, starting with the narrow end, like a jellyroll and secure the rolled cutlets with a toothpick. Heat the other teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat and cook the rolled chicken cutlets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until just golden brown. In another pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil and add slices of lemon. Carefully drop the rolled chicken cutlets into the boiling liquid. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the chicken for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Chicken simmering in broth
Chicken simmering in broth

Remove the rolled chicken cutlets and let rest for about 5 minutes.

Chicken Saltimboca Resting
Chicken Saltimboccollards Resting

Once the chicken has cooled slightly, cut the chicken saltimboccollards int thi

Rounds of Chicken Saltimboccollards
Chicken Saltimboccollards

To go with the chicken saltimboccollards, I made a quick orzo dish. I heated four rolled anchovy fillets with capers in olive oil in a pan over medium heat, stirring until they dissolved in their own oil. I sauteed an assortment of vegetables that I had in the refrigerator (which happened to include about a half cup each of green beans, sorrel, sweet peppers, and zucchini) with the anchovy fillets. I cooked orzo according to the directions on the packaging. I then mixed together the orzo, a 28 ounces of diced San Marzano tomatoes, and the sauteed vegetables.

Making orzo with vegetables
Making orzo with vegetables

I removed the toothpicks from the chicken saltimbocollars and plated them together with the orzo. I then topped each serving with the fried sage leaves, which I think add great flavor and an enjoyable texture to the orzo when it is crushed up with a fork and mixed into the orzo.

Chicken Saltimboccollards with Orzo
Chicken Saltimboccollards with Orzo

Collard Greens with Gemelli and Chicken Sausage

Collard are a quintessential southern food and my family in South Georgia grows delicious, tender collards. My family usually prepares collards (and other greens) by simmering them with ham for seasoning and serving them with pepper sauce (vinegar infused with hot peppers), using cornbread to soak up the juices from the collards (aka pot liquor). While I do like greens prepared this way, I usually cook greens at home by giving them a quick saute in olive oil and garlic, splashing them with lemon juice, vinegar, or a little red wine before removing them from the heat. Looking for a different way to prepare a bunch of collards my parents gave us from their garden, Jill came across a recipe for Spaghetti with Collard Greens and Lemon from Martha Stewart’s Whole Living website. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling the spaghetti, nor could I find farro spaghetti at the store. Inspired by the Martha Stewart recipe, but not wanting quite what that recipe described, I created this recipe for Collard Greens with Gamelli and Chicken Sausage. In this recipe, I especially like how the sweet earthiness of the greens and the sweetness from the chicken sausage pair with the acid from the lemon juice and the saltiness of the Parmesan while the pasta gives the dish more body and substance than just sauteed greens alone.

Thinly slicing Georgia Collards from my parent’s garden

You need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 chicken sausage links (I used Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage), sliced into small cubes
  • 1 bunch (about 12 ounces) collard greens, ribs removed and thinly sliced
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 ounce walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 ounces multi-colored gemelli (tri-colored rotini would work also)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
Preparing ingredients to make Collard Greens with Gemelli and Chicken Sausage

Bring a 5-quart pot of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil and cook the pasta for the amount of time specified in the instructions on the package for the pasta. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a 3-quart saute pan over medium heat. Heat the garlic in the oil for a minute and add the pepper flakes. Let the garlic and pepper flakes infuse the oil for about a minute, stirring enough to keep the garlic from burning. Add the chicken sausage to the saute pan with the garlic, pepper flakes, and oil. Once the edges of the sausage begin to brown (about 3 minutes), add the thinly sliced collard greens to the saute pan. Toss the collard greens to coat them with oil and drizzle in the lemon juice.

Collards with chicken sausage
Collards with chicken sausage

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the collars and chicken sausage mixture. Add in the pasta water and stir gently. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss in the chopped walnuts. Sprinkle in half of the grated Parmesan cheese and mix gently.

Collards with Chicken Sausage, Pasta and Parmesan
Add pasta, walnuts, and Parmesan to the collards with chicken sausage

Serve the Collard Greens with Gemelli and Chicken Sausage, garnished with more grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Collard Greens with Gemelli and Chicken Sausage
Collard Greens with Gemelli and Chicken Sausage