Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Man oh man. I've spent the past approximately 24 hours trying to learn about inflammation. My eyes are tired from staring at my computer and reading articles. My brain is tired because inflammation is one crazy confusing and complicated biological response; although also beautifully complex and intriguing. Ah, but enough about life as a postdoc, let's move on to food. Delicious yummy food.

Chicken cordon bleu is another one of those dishes that I used to think I didn't like. You know what I realized? I don't like those frozen stuffed chicken breasts that you buy pre-prepared or the ones that are served in mass at church functions.

But I do really like this recipe! And the greatest thing about this recipe, it has been re-purposed to have lower caloric and fat content. I got it from this AMAZING cookbook, Now Eat This! by Rocco DiSpirto. He takes all your favorite meals and makes them healthier. I would certainly suggest investing in this cookbook because everything I've made from it so far has been great. I did change a few things from his recipe including using regular panko breadcrumbs instead of whole wheat. That was just what I had, feel free to use either.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (slightly adapted from "Now Eat This!")
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp chopped green onions
4 chicken cutlets (4 oz each), pounded very thin
3 ounces thinly sliced lean ham
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 large egg whites
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray

In a saucepan, whisk the cornstarch into the evaporated milk. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until the mixture is thickened, approximately 1 min. Whisk in the cheese until it is melted and smooth. Lastly, whisk in the green onions and chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Coat an ice cube tray with cooking spray and pour the cheese sauce equally into 8 of the holes. Freeze until it is hard, at least 2 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on it. Spray the wire rack with cooking spray.

Lay the chicken on a work surface and season with salt and pepper. Divide ham slices evenly over the chicken. Place two cubes of cheese in the center of each piece of chicken. Roll up the chicken to encase the filling and secure with toothpicks (you will probably need at least two toothpicks per chicken).

Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they are foamy. Place the flour and panko in two separate shallow dishes. Dredge each chicken bundle in the flour, dip it in the egg whites to coat completely and then coat with the panko completely.

Place the chicken on the wire rack and spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until the breading is golden brown and crispy and the cheese sauce is fully melted, about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

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