Friday, November 26, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Southern Cornbread

An elegant French classic dish, Chicken Cordon Bleu is made by rolling chicken with ham and Swiss cheese. This one strays from more traditional renditions by baking the chicken breasts after stuffing rather than pan frying. As a result the chicken spirals don't get the rich golden color but they taste delicious and are a healthier take on the traditional classic. Mashed potato and green beans make for excellent sides. Here I served it with fresh greens and tomato and a southern classic - cornbread. Slightly sweet with lots of flavor from garlic and jalapenos cornbread can be served anytime of the day.        

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Ingredients: (serves 4)
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 slices of cooked ham
4 thin slices of Swiss cheese 
1 tbsp mayonnaise plus 1 tsp warm water
1/3 cup panko
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
salt to taste

  1. Place the chicken breast on a chopping board and, with your hand flat on top, using a sharp knife, slice into one side of the breast. Be careful not to cut all the way through to the other side.
  2. Open out the breast so that it resembles a butterfly.
  3. Place it between two sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap and flatten with a mallet or a rolling pin to about a quarter inch thickness.
  4. Season chicken with salt and sprinkle with some parsley.
  5. Place a slice of ham on the chicken followed by a slice of cheese.
  6. You cal roll the chicken breast or just fold it over.
  7. Brush over the entire surface of chicken with the mayo-water mixture.
  8. Combine the breadcrumbs with thyme. Now carefully dredge the chicken rolls in breadcrumbs.
  9. Place them on a greased baking sheet seam side down and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Let it rest covered for 5 minutes.
  10. Alternatively pan fry on medium heat till chicken is cooked through and is rich golden brown on the outside.
  11. Slice into inch thick slices and serve hot.

Southern cornbread
Ingredients: (Makes about 8 servings)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
11/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
11/2 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp vegetable oil (or butter)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2-3 jalapeno peppers minced
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Combine buttermilk and oil and stir in garlic, green onions and peppers.
  3. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Do not over mix.
  4. Spoon batter into a greased square pan and bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes or until done.
  5. Cool 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

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