Friday, August 27, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

My mom has a collection of cookbooks that rivals some bookstores and I used to secretly (and silently) snicker when she would sit for hours and “read” them. But recently I picked up a cookbook and went through it page by page…imagine my surprise that you can read a cookbook! Maybe the Iron Chef competitions have brought out the chef in me (who am I kidding) or maybe I’m just bored with the usual fare. Before you get too excited about the recipe, keep in mind that it’s from a cookbook called Calico Cupboards. It’s no culinary masterpiece, but it’s good, old-fashioned, simple cooking. While this is in the oven, grab a cookbook and start reading!

6 chicken breasts
6 slices of ham, thinly sliced
6 slices of swiss cheese
1 stick of melted butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika

I recommend that you cut the chicken breasts in half (lengthwise) so they’re easier to manipulate. Mix the bread crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs) and the other spices in a dish. I didn’t have paprika so I threw in a few things from my pantry – thyme and even Montreal chicken seasoning – a bit odd, but it gave it a nice, spicy kick. Melt the butter in a baking dish. Fold the ham and cheese together and then fold the chicken in half, around them. Try to keep the cheese as tucked in as possible or it will melt all over the place. Carefully hold it all together to dip the outside of the chicken in the butter and then the bread crumb mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Make sure you count your toothpicks so you can get them all out once it’s baked. The recipe said to refrigerate the chicken for several hours or overnight…of course, I didn’t read far enough ahead to do that, so I just threw it into the oven right away. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
(Photographic note: I didn’t think to take a picture of the dish right after I cooked it, but I had some in the freezer that I ate last night. The cheese didn’t freeze well, so the picture isn’t the best. Despite the look of it, it’s worth fixing again.)

(Click here for printable recipe)

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