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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chicken Cordon Blue: Recipe

I was in high school the first time I had Chicken Cordon Blue. A friend's dad was a food distributor so they always had the best things in their freezer. I will never forget (I haven't so far!) the day we ate the chicken. The fillets had to be baked but when they came out of the oven about 45 minutes later they were wonderful. Each had a breaded coating on the outside and thick melted cheese on the inside that oozed out when you cut it. And of course how can you forget the salty sliced ham that wrapped around inside the chicken roll - it served as the perfect balance for the whole thing. I can still taste it.

To this day, I enjoy chicken cordon blue. A favorite is a chicken cutlet, breaded, with layers of ham and melted Swiss with mustard on a Kaiser roll. Perfect sandwich! Ahh, but I digress. I made a more health-conscious version thinking it would be tasty yet...healthier! It was quick and easy, really. Nothing I do during the week requires a great deal of cooking talent - just a little planning, perhaps.

Chicken Cordon Blue
1 Lb. thin sliced chicken cutlets (about 6 cutlets)
4 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
1/4 lb. Virgina Ham, sliced thin
1/4 lb. Swiss cheese, sliced thin
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 350. In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and slip in the cutlets, once the butter begins to foam. Saute about 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the cutlet, but until it's cooked inside. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Turn cutlets once or twice until they are slightly browned on both sides.

Transfer cutlets to a baking sheet. Top each with one slice of ham and then a slice of cheese. When all cutlets are out of the saute pan, squeeze in the lemon juice and allow it to bubble up. Scrape up the browned bits and pour the juice over the tops of the chicken cutlets.

Bake about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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