A couple of weeks ago I took a short trip to Florida to escape the cold weather. On my way back I was going through the security checkpoint at the airport. It was a very small airport and there were just 2 security lines. Everyone was putting their belongings in the plastic bins for the security officer to scan. I always take all my makeup and hair products in my carry on bag in case my luggage doesn’t make it home.
Here’s what happened next. The security guard behind the computer screen says, “Well here comes Miss Makeup Counter!” to which the guard standing next to him replies, “Well Hello, Miss Maybelline!” The guard behind the computer screen quickly looks up at me and says, “You really don’t need all that stuff. You look just fine!” By now everyone is staring at me and I want to crawl under the conveyor belt and hide. I’m absolutely mortified. At least he didn’t look at me and say, “You really do need all that stuff!”
Here is a great recipe for chicken cordon blue from my friend Michelle Ellis. She says if you are short on time you can use the time saving method at the end of the recipe. She says it cuts the preparation time almost in half!
Chicken Cordon Blue
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 plus 1/2 cups panko
2 teaspoons herbs de province
2 teaspoons melted unsalted butter
3 chicken breasts
3 slices thick ham cut in half for a total of 6 pieces
(I used John Morrell ham, each slice was 2 ounces)
6 slices Swiss cheese
2 rounded tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chicken broth (Swanson’s 33% less sodium)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with non- stick spray. Set up a dredging station. Mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic salt and put on a dinner plate. Beat eggs and put in a pie pan. Mix panko, herbs de province and melted butter together and put in a shallow dish or pie pan. Set up your station from left to right– beginning with chicken, then seasoned flour, beaten eggs, panko and rimmed baking sheet. Cut the three chicken breasts in half and flatten to 1/2 thick with a hammer! You will have 6 flattened pieces of chicken (alternate time- saving method explained at the end of the recipe). On one side of the chicken place 1 piece of ham and one slice of cheese. Fold chicken in half to cover the ham and cheese. Coat chicken in flour, then dip in egg, and then coat with the panko. Place on rimmed baking sheet leaving room between each piece so it can brown on all sides. Repeat until all chicken is used. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F. for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees.
Make the sauce while the chicken cooks. Whisk Dijon mustard and chicken broth in a small skillet. Over medium high heat bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 1 minute stirring occasionally. Add the whipping cream and continue to whisk occasionally and simmer for 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add the Parmesan cheese and whisk for about 1 minute. Spoon some sauce over each piece of cooked chicken. Enjoy!
Time saving method: Don’t flatten chicken with a hammer. Don’t stuff chicken with ham and Swiss cheese. Bread chicken with seasoned flour, dip in egg, and then coat with prepared panko. Bake chicken according to recipe. When the chicken is 165 degrees F. remove chicken from oven and top with ham and Swiss cheese. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese melts being careful not to burn the cheese. Spoon mustard sauce on top.
Published in The News and Neighbor on March 22, 2014