Thursday, May 29, 2008

Easier than I anticipated
--Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu
The Most Decadent Diet Ever Copyright 2008

Olive oil spray
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
2 large egg whites I used 1 whole egg
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
½ cup dried bread crumbs
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Four 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, visible fat removed
3 ounces sliced 97% lean deli ham
3 ½ ounces light Swiss cheese slivers

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Lightly mist a medium nonstick baking sheet with spray.

Arrange 3 medium shallow bowls side by side. Mix the flour, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper with the garlic powder and paprika in the first bowl. Use a fork to lightly beat the egg whites with the milk in the second bowl. Mix the bread crumbs and the parsley in the third bowl.

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towel to ensure that they are as dry as possible. Place them between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper on a flat work surface. Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound them to an even 1/8 to 1/4 –inch thickness. Then place them on the wrap or paper with the top of the breast facedown and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place a quarter of the ham and then a quarter of the cheese evenly in the center of each breast, about ½ inch from each edge. Roll the breasts lengthwise so the seams end up on the bottom. If desired, fasten the breasts with toothpicks inserted near the bottom so that the breasts remained rolled.

Next, being careful not to unroll it, dip one of the breasts into the flour mixture until it is coated on all sides. Shake off any excess flour, and then dip it into the egg mixture. Allow any excess egg to drip from the chicken, and then coat it with bread crumbs. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to tuck the sides under slightly.

Prepare the 3 remaining chicken breasts following the same procedure, placing them side by side, not touching, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly mist the tops with spray. Bake for approximately 9 minutes. Then carefully flip the breasts over and bake for another 9 to 12 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 306 cal, 48 g protein, 10 g carbs, 7 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 101 mg chol, 599 mg sodium, <1> ________________

I was dreading preparing this recipe. I originally planned to prepare it up to the point of cooking it the night before because I suffer from this chronic disease that constantly makes me believe that I have extra time and energy in the evenings when nothing could be further from the truth.

So, I didn't manage to prepare it ahead of time and I wasn't looking forward to making something so fussy-seeming after a hard day of work but was I ever surprised at how easy these were to put together. I used the thin chicken breasts I buy at Costco (the 10-pound bag contains very thin breasts) so I didn't have to do much pounding. I didn't fuss too much with the rolling. Sure, I lost some cheese but since I cooked this on nonstick foil, it didn't stick to the pan and instead, it was a crunchy cheese treat. They also cooked up amazingly fast and browned really nicely.

The author mentions how popular this recipe was at banquets when she was growing up in Pennsylvania. I concur. When I was in high school, I worked in catering and stuffed chicken was certainly the most popular entry, usually stuffed with a bread filling, but chicken cordon bleu was a souped-up version that many people chose and then there was chicken kiev if you really wanted to get fancy.

I always thought chicken cordon bleu was time consuming and fattening since chicken cordon bleu is often deep fried but when baked, this isn't a heavy recipe at all. This would be a nice company meal too since you can prepare the rolled up and breaded chicken ahead of time.

I'm loving this cookbook!

No time for a Blast From the Past today. I have an early appointment to see how big this baby is getting. Not too big I hope. My sugars have been under control. Let's hope that counts for something.

Question of the Day: Have you attended many catered functions? Does any entrée stand out as more popular than others?


ThursdayNext said...

I had the same thoughts on chicken corden blue being unhealthy, but I am going to race to make this recipe! I have been to a many catered affair, and although the choices are usually chicken, fish, or beef, we did family style for my best friend's wedding and had a nice roasted lamb...mmm.

Heather said...

Wow that looks good! I will have to "de-glutenize" it due to the dread celiac disease, but it can be done. I went to something like 10 formals in college and I think the beef was usually the safest choice... at my sister-in-law's wedding I remember she had told everyone in advance to get the orange roughy and it really was good. Good luck to you with baby!


DancesInGarden said...

Usually dinners around here are roast beef, roast chicken pieces, pasta, vegetable, potato (roasted or mashed) salad, rolls and butter. Some smaller halls add things like meatballs in gravy, cabbage rolls, and specialty chicken like cutlets in mushrooms sauce. Once or twice they have served veal as an add-on (thank goodness as I don't eat it LOL).

I make a version of cordon bleu (no recipe really) just black forest ham and a bit of cheese rolled in chicken and roasted. I don't coat the meat. Mostly because I am lazy and partly because DH and DD couldn't care less if it is breaded! Sometimes I add a leaf or two of basil or spinach to mine.