Turkey Escalope with Dry-Cured Ham

Introduction

A dish rich in flavours but easy to prepare, I have been making this version for several years.

I like to use Turkey or chicken escalopes as they have a subtle flavour and absorb the other flavours used, but pork or veal will also work.

We were reading through Elizabeth David's 'Summer Cooking' yesterday, it was first published in 1955. It was surprising to discover that she had already started discussing the advantages of free-range poultry back then.

Tips

Escalopes are readily available in supermarkets, but they are normally too thick. A butcher will flatten them for you, but you can do this at home.

Any dry-cured ham will do, but as it is going to be cooked you do not want to use the best Serrano or Parma hams. I tend to use whatever is locally produced; I have also used pancetta successfully.

Ingredients

  • 4 turkey escalopes
  • 120g\4oz thinly sliced dry-cured ham, cut into strips
  • 60g\2oz plain\all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 60g\2oz un-salted butter
  • 1½ lemons - juice of ½, the other cut into wedges
  • 30g\1 fl oz dry white wine or vermouth
  • 60g\2 fl oz chicken, vegetable stock or water
  • Salt & pepper

Tools of the Trade

  • A ziploc bag, plastic wrap or a couple of thin plastic bags
  • A small pan, twice the size of the escalope

Method

If your escalopes have not been flattened, take the first escalope and place it between two sheets of plastic (see Tips) on a stable surface. Flatten the escalope with the underside of the pan.

Place a large plate in the oven and pre-heat it to 130°C\250°F\gas mark ½.

Heat a frying pan, big enough to hold at least two of the escalopes, over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and the strips of ham and cook until they brown a little. Slant the pan to allow the oil to flow away from the ham. Transfer it to a bowl nearby using a slotted spoon or fork.

Place the flour, a generous pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper in a plastic bag, big enough to hold each escalope, and shake to mix well. At this time add half the un-salted butter to the pan.

Place the escalopes, one at a time, into the bag and shake to coat in seasoned flour. It is best that they go directly from the flour bag to the pan.

Raise the heat under the pan, when the butter starts to foam add two of the escalopes and cook for three minutes on each side. Add half of the cooked ham and cook for another minute turning the escalopes once. Transfer to the oven. Add the rest of the butter to the pan, when the butter starts to foam repeat the process with the remaining escalopes.

With the escalopes in the oven, add the wine and lemon juice to the pan and bring to the boil, scrapping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. When the wine has evaporated add the stock or water, a pinch of salt and pepper and reduce by half.

Pour the pan juices over the escalopes and serve with lemon wedges. Excellent accompanied with saute├ęd potatoes and wilted spinach.

Suggestion

You could also serve these with Spaghetti with Garlic, Chili & Oven-Dried Tomatoes or Spaghetti served with a Tomato Sauce.