Christopher Hoult

Software engineer, actor, speaker, print designer

Image credit: Christopher Hoult

Part of my work on self care is to try to cook for myself - from scratch - at least one evening per week. I'm always really happy to cook for others, but I find it hard to cook for myself - there's probably something in there about not considering myself worth cooking for.

I've had this recipe for a while - since university, really, when my housemate taught me it. I'm sure it came from an Italian cookbook (knowing Neil, Aldo Zilli's), but here it is filtered through my memory. I have prepared it a few times - I cooked it for a very good friend and his partner once, and she labelled it (lovingly, I might add) "Space Weevil."

It's been years since I cooked it, but a friend was coming over a couple of weekends ago and I thought of doing it once more. When they eventually got to me, we figured the effort would be just too much and so ordered food for delivery. However, the next evening I found myself at a loose end, and with all of the ingredients, and so treated myself.

Mozzarella and Prosciutto Chicken Kievs

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Skinless chicken breasts (one per serving)
  • Prosciutto ham (two slices per serving
  • Hard mozzarella (the kind you get in a block, rather than in brine)
  • Fresh rosemary (dried will do)
  • Plain flour
  • Eggs (one per serving; beaten)
  • Breadcrumbs (I used fancy lemon and pepper ones, but any will do)
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to season

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F; set out three dishes containing flour (seasoned), beaten eggs and breadcrumbs.

2. Slice each chicken breast horizontally until you have only a small hinge connecting the sides, and open up into a bigger steak (this is called "butterflying" the chicken). If there is a mini-fillet as part of the breast, remove and retain it.

3. Place the chicken (and mini-fillet) between two pieces of clingfilm (Saran wrap for my US readers), and use a rolling pin to flatten the breast out further - you want it to be between half and one centimeter thick.

4. Remove the top piece of plastic, and liberally sprinkle rosemary over the top, along with salt and pepper to season.

5. Place two pieces of prosciutto on the top.

6. Cut a two centimeter thick, six centimeter long piece of mozzarella and place in the center.

7. Wrap the mozzarella with the ham, making a parcel, trying to cover the whole of its exterior.

8. Now wrap the chicken around the parcel; if you have a mini-fillet then use it to extend the amount of chicken around the mozzarella/ham block.

9. Heat olive oil and butter to a medium heat on the pan.

10. Roll the chicken first in the flour, then dip in the egg and finally roll in the breadcrumbs, making sure to cover the assembly fully at each stage.

11. Fry the breadcrumbed parcel in the olive oil on all sides until the breadcrumbing is sealed (this bit adds the color to the breadcrumbs).

12. Finally, place all portions on a baking tray and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

13. Serve with a salad and some sauteed potatoes.