Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chicken Cordon Bleu - make and freeze in advance for easy dinners later

Here’s an easy chicken recipe for those of us that like to feel “gourmet” without a lot of effort.

The preparation is split into two parts: 1) creating the rolls and 2) breading and baking. For delicious meals in the future without a lot of work, you can double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe, making a large number of rolls all at once, and freeze them for up to 6 months. When you’re ready for cordon bleu, simply thaw the rolls out overnight in the fridge, and then egg and bread them right before you bake.

Serve with salad or vegetables and maybe some mashed or scalloped potatoes on the side.

Shopping List:

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 slices (4 oz) thin-sliced deli-style ham
4 slices (4 oz) of your favorite cheese (I used White American – not as sharp as cheddar, but still a nice tangy taste, it’s one of my favorites)
1 egg
½ cup dry bread crumbs

What to do:

Part 1 - at least one day in advance:

1. Pound chicken breasts to about ¼ thickness.

2. Place two slices of ham and one slice of cheese on each piece of chicken. Roll chicken around ham and cheese slices. Place each roll on a small piece of plastic wrap and roll tightly (as shown below).

3. Refrigerate chicken rolls overnight. This helps them hold their shape when you bake the next day. (Optional, place plastic-wrapped rolls in Ziplock Freezer Bags and store in the freezer for up to six months.)

(This picture is from a different type of chicken I made, but I added it here to show you what I mean about how to wrap properly)

Part 2 - on day of serving:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Beat the egg in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a second bowl nearby.

3. Gently unroll each piece of chicken from the plastic wrap, while keeping it formed in it’s roll-shape.

4. Dip each chicken roll first in the egg (making sure to turn to coat all sides), then in the breadcrumbs. Place on greased baking sheet.

5. Bake at 350ºF about 15 minutes or until internal temperature measures 165ºF.

6. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition information for one chicken breast:

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