Don’t you just love it when someone is impressed by something you did, mostly because they had no clue how easy it really was? There’s a secret satisfaction to accomplishing something with only a small amount of work without anyone realizing. I often feel like cooking and baking can be like a magic trick. The results are so inspiring and splendid that everyone will wonder how you ever did it. They never have to know your secret. They never have to know that a few simple ingredients when prepared in the right way yield a delightful, stress-free result.
Taste: Savory, salty, all around scrumptious.
Texture: The breading is slightly crisp, the chicken is perfectly moist, and the filling is cheesy and meaty.
Ease: Much, much easier than it might seem. Actually takes about 45 minutes start to finish as long as you have all your ingredients organized.
Appearance: The breading has a beautiful reddish tint from the paprika. Plus you can’t beat the strings of melting cheese that wrap around your fork as you cut into the chicken.
Pros: Looks and sounds gourmet and impressive enough for guests, yet is easy enough for a weeknight. If you don’t want to splurge on prosciutto you can substitute ham.
Cons: None that I could think up.
Would I make this again? Yes. I actually froze two of the breasts and reheated one with success (they take about as long to reheat in the oven as they took to cook originally).
How to make Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup dry plain breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick spray.
Place broth in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave for 15 seconds or until warm. Stir in butter and garlic. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and paprika in a medium shallow bowl; set aside.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt, oregano, and pepper. Top each breast half with 1 slice of prosciutto and 1 tablespoons mozzarella. Roll up each breast half jelly-roll fashion. Carefully dip each roll in chicken broth mixture; dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place rolls, seam side down, in prepared baking dish. Bake for 28 minutes or until juices run clear and tops are golden.
From Cooking Light December 2005
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