chicken cordon bleu*

I don't know what has gotten into me, but I have been cooking and baking all day. To be honest, I don't cook a whole lot at home. Well, I cook, but mainly the same meals over and over. It is not too often that I get very creative. But I do have my reasons. The first reason - I don't have that much time. Once I get home from work it's usually between 5 and 6 and there is not much to time to cook a full blown nice meal. The second reason, I love my husband but he is not very adventurous. HOWEVER, notice that is a big HOWEVER, he has gotten a lot better lately. For instance, a few months back he ordered a mango salsa chicken salad from a restaurant that had VEGETABLES and MANGOES in it. That is insane! I nearly dropped over dead! And thirdly, cooking nice fancy meals on a constant basis is expensive. I like to go shopping for things other than food, and it bugs me if I have to spend all of my money on food. Is that weird?? Maybe. But seriously, food is expensive! That and it is just Landon and I, so it is hard for me to justify spending too much money on food, when 9 out of 10 times it is cheaper for us to eat out. Oh, and fourthly, I am around food ALL DAY. It is a wonder I am not 300 pounds yet. So it is not as exciting for me to cook at home when I am cooking nearly everyday at work.

Anyway, back to my cooking and baking of the day. Today I made chicken cordon bleu for the first time, some mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade fluffy dinner rolls, and a big cookie with homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert! This is when I was reminded that I don't have time to cook like this all the time. I started cooking at 2 and just finished up and it is almost 7:30. Of course I had some down time in between to throw in 5 loads of laundry. I was very productive today, but now I am pooped and am seriously craving a diet Dr. Pepper right about now. If only it wouldn't keep me up all night...

I have always loved the little chicken cordon bleu's you can buy in the frozen section at the store, and a couple months back Landon ordered it from Mimi's and it was amazing! Ever since I have wanted to try my hand at making it myself, and today was the lucky day! And even though I was totally scared out of my mind because I didn't think I could make it work, it turned out perfectly and even looked edible!! If I can do it, anyone can do it! Give it a try.

This recipe is amazing. The chicken is nice and tender and the middle with the ham and melty cheese is amazing. Then the crunchy crispy outside is the perfect little package to this amazing dish!! And again, you can tell the pictures were taken in my dark dreary household.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
from Buttery Books

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
6 thin slices of Swiss cheese
6 thin slices of ham
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt
Coarse ground pepper
1 cup bread crumbs, preferably Panko (HIGHLY suggest the Panko! Love it!)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 eggs
2 teaspoons water
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil

Wash chicken breasts and pat dry.  Between two pieces of plastic wrap, gently pound out chicken  to 1/4 inch thickness.  Be careful not to tear chicken.  Place a cheese and ham slice on each chicken breast.  Tightly roll each chicken breast over the cheese and ham and squeeze the chicken roll to help seal.  Secure seal with toothpicks, if necessary.

Mix the flour and paprika together in a flat dish.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside.  Mix bread crumbs and thyme together in another flat dish.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside.  In another dish, mix whisk together eggs and water.  Arrange dishes next to stove top where the chicken will be frying.

In a large saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Lightly dust chicken rolls with flour mixture, then dip into egg mixture.  

Gently coat each roll in the bread crumbs and place in pan to fry.

Cook until chicken is browned on all sides and juices run clear. Transfer breasts to serving plate.   Remove toothpicks if used. 

Serve with a wedge of lemon or a cream sauce, if desired.



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