I had two birthday dinners that were, at different times in my life, my go-to birthday treat. I have previously written about an amazing Shrimp & Gorgonzola Dip that was one of my birthday traditions. This Easy Chicken Valdostana is the other birthday ritual dish that I would have when my mom came to visit me.
What is Chicken Valdostana?
There used to be an Italian restaurant where I lived that was tucked down a little alley with a brick path. It always felt like an adventure going there... a secret no one knew about but us. My mom and I were not familiar with this Northern Italian dish and ordered it on a whim. The recipe hails from a place called Valle D'Aosta and typically contains prosciutto, white wine and fontina cheese. One bite in, and we were completely hooked. It was everything you want in a chicken entree. The chicken was tender, there was cheese, ham (more on that later), it was saucy but you couldn't quite figure out the ingredients. We ate. In silence. The food was too good to talk. This chicken valdostana became a yearly treat I would anticipate starting months before my actual birthday. Eventually that restaurant closed down and I had to find a new birthday ritual. But I never forgot that incredible chicken and tried re-creating it over the years... so here we are.
You Can Substitute Ham for This Chicken Valdostana
I really don't want to offend the prosciutto lovers of the world, but I just never took to it. I find it to be a bit slimy and also it's too expensive. Black Forest ham is absolutely wonderful as a substitute. I realize this will make some people cringe, but that's okay. The rest of us (the non-prosciutto lovers) will be delighted with a tasty alternative like Black Forest ham.
You can prepare this dish as it is written and it really is delicious. There's only a handful of ingredients and I played with it to get the amounts just right. Feel free to kick it up a notch with additional flavors too. For example, after you've cooked the chicken and removed it from the pan, throw in some diced garlic and shallots if you want. Mushrooms too if you're a mushroom person.
This Easy Chicken Valdostana is Perfect for a Casual Dinner or Small Gathering
This is an easy recipe and it is very quick to come together. It's all cooked in one pan and prep is really simple. I love when I can make a low-maintenance dinner and keep the dishes at a minimum.
Flouring thin-sliced chicken cutlets and searing them in a pan is such a great base for a dinner. If you like this method, it's very similar to the preparation of my Chicken Piccata and Chicken Marsala. So, if you've made either of those dishes this will be a breeze for you.Print