Tuesday, July 19, 2011

'Cheaters' Cordon Bleu

Good evening everyone! Welcome back to a new week of recipes here at Out Of The Culinary! We've always been fans of French cuisine on the blog. We've tried multiple French recipes and have had great success in almost every French dish we've tried. The downside to French cooking is twofold. First, it is not at all good for you. 90% (unofficial guess) is packed with butter and could clog your arteries in one or two bites (unofficial medical diagnosis). Secondly, French cooking is a very time consuming and tedious process. Therefore, whenever I find a recipe like the one we're trying tonight - where a usually complex French dish is broken down into a much more simple and healthy alternative, I'm always eager to give it a shot. Let's get cooking!

The Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu For Two
Original Recipe Found On: Eatingwell.com

What You'll Need:

2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper (Divided)
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Shredded Swiss Cheese
1 Tablespoon Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons Coarse, Dry Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
1 1/2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Parsley or Thyme
2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Divided)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Ham

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

Season your chicken with 1/8 teaspoon of pepper and the salt. In a small bowl combine the cheese and cream cheese (mix until well combined).

In another small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of oil, remaining pepper and parsley. Mix until well combined.

For this recipe we're trying a new product. We found this:

Next to the herb section of our local Hy-Vee. This little tube is supposed to be made for chefs like us - who don't use fresh parsley, thyme and basil fast enough to justify buying the gigantic bags it comes in. It is supposed to work on a 1 to 1 ratio with fresh parsley. (1 tablespoon fresh equals 1 tablespoon from the tube.) The advantage is that this product is supposed to be good for 3 months rather than about 1 week. We'll have to test it out in a lot of recipes before we can give you a final verdict - so be sure to stay tuned for that!

In a medium oven safe skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil until it begins to shimmer. Place your chicken breasts in the skillet and cook, 2 minutes per side until lightly browned.

Next, remove the skillet from the heat but leave the chicken breasts in the skillet. Evenly spread the cheese mixture on the chicken breasts.

Sprinkle the chopped ham over the chicken breasts and finally cover both breasts with the bread crumb mixture.

Place the skillet in the oven for about 7 to 10 minutes or until the chicken reaches 160-165 degrees. Serve and enjoy!

The Results:

You have to love a dish that gives you comparable flavor for a lot less work. Normal Cordon Bleu features a careful layering of proscuitto and cheese - usually a cheese with butter infused mix, in between layers of chicken. This time consuming process produces a great tasting dish - but as we pointed out in the opening, it's not exactly healthy or practical if you're on a time restricted dinner plan.

Tonight's dish is packed with a great flavor and is simple and very easy to make. The cheese is a nice addition to the bread crumb topping and the ham adds a little layer of complexity to the final taste. At about 30 to 35 minutes start to finish this great tasting dish is certainly one worth trying yourself at home.

That's all we have for you this evening. Maggie is taking to the kitchen on Thursday so be sure to stop in then to see what she has cooking. Until then, (Stay cool fellow midwestern residents) and


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