Sunday, January 11, 2009

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Bechamel Sauce


I made this recipe for my husband and I one weeknight. It was surprisingly quick to whip up and it was so, so tasty and comforting. I think it's good enough for entertaining, too! Everyone loves Chicken Cordon Bleu. The panko breadcrumbs make a world of difference, giving the chicken a crispy, crunchy coating that goes perfectly with the creamy bechamel. I served mine with some leftover carrot souffle from Christmas, spicy collard greens, and a muffin. This recipe's quantities are for 2 servings, but you can, of course, double or triple the recipe if needed. Try it tonight!

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients

For the chicken:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 slices deli ham or proscuitto
  • 2 slices of your favorite deli cheese (fontina, swiss, gruyere, or white cheddar all work great)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
For the Parmesan Bechamel:
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1/8 flour
  • 1 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/4 parmesan cheese
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
Directions

1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Crack two eggs in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine the panko, Italian seasoning, seasoning salt, and pepper and set aside.

3. Next, butterfly each chicken breast by cutting it in half with a good chef's knife horizontally, but not all the way through - just until it folds open kind of like a book.

4. Fill your chicken breasts by first laying your ham slices on the bottom of each piece of chicken, and then topping it with cheese. Fold the top half of the chicken back over.

5. Bread the chicken by first dunking it in beaten egg, then coat it well in the seasoned panko. Place each coated chicken breast on a baking sheet (I cover mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up) and place it in your preheated oven.

6. Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

7. While the chicken is baking, prepare your parmesan bechamel by melting the butter in a small saucepan, and then whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then add your milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil. Season with salt and pepper, add in the cheese, cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes, and add in the nutmeg at the end. Taste the sauce and check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk.

8. To serve, place the chicken on a plate and top with the Parmesan Bechamel Sauce. Enjoy!

To lighten up this recipe: Omit the panko and just season the outside of the chicken breasts with the Italian seasoning and seasoning salt. Use lowfat cheese on the inside of the chicken. You can also omit the bechamel completely, or lighten it by using margarine in place of butter, skim milk, and no cheese. It will still be creamy and delicious.


4 comments:

  1. So yummy looking. Will have to try this. Believe it or not, I've never had this kind of chicken, but it looks so good!

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  2. I love your "lighter" suggestions...it's so easy to modify recipes to be a little healthier and they usually taste just as great.

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