Friday, September 3, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Last Thursday, Elizabeth came over, and we were determined to make something to eat. Jeff and I had just bought a new couch, so we're trying to eat cheap for a few weeks; our challenge was to find something that we could make out of what we had, and have it be awesome. And, to write it down.

We decided on Chicken Cordon Bleu, using frozen chicken, leftover cheeses, sliced deli ham, and a bunch of food staples (not office supplies). As our side, we used some small eggplants that were given to me by a friend to make eggplant fries.

Elizabeth and I started on the cheese sauce, which was made from a rue with milk and shredded Colby Jack cheese. We added celery salt, garlic powder, and dill weed as spices, and let it thicken.

We let the poor, frozen (and possibly a little freezer-burnt) chicken thaw, then I pounded it. (I have a pleasing amount of experience with this now!) After seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper, we put the ham on top of the chicken, then a layer of Colby Jack on top of the ham. After the sauce was finished, we put that on top of the layer of cheese, and rolled the chicken onto itself. We brushed egg on top of the chicken, then patted on a layer of breadcrumbs.

We put the wrapped chicken into a pan layered with tin foil, and we baked it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After the 20 minute point, we checked the temperature of the chicken to determine whether or not it was cooked, but we found that because the chicken was wrapped, this didn't give an accurate temperature of the chicken.

While we were waiting for the chicken to cook, we experimented with the eggplant fries. Elizabeth sliced the eggplants, and we decided not to skin them (as an afterthought). I found a breading mixture that had high ratings, and we dipped the eggplant slices in that, then dipped them in hot oil until they browned.

As a test, we decided to try them before the chicken was finished. Our first reactions were ecstatic, however my own opinion started to dwindling due to an emerging bitter taste. I did some research later on, and the bitterness could have been from the eggplants not being fresh anymore. Because of my issues with the bitterness, (strangely, Elizabeth didn't have any problems with it), I'm not going to post the recipe here at the moment.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

2 chicken breasts
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
4 slices of ham
1 1/2 tablespoons Colby Jack cheese, shredded

Cheese Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
5 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons Colby Jack cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dill weed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a sauce pan, melt butter, then slowly whisk the flour into the butter.
Cook until flour and butter are golden.
Slowly add and gently whisk milk, then add the cheese; continue mixing.
Add the celery salt, garlic powder, and dill weed.
Keep on a low heat until ready to use.

Pound chicken breasts to 1/2 inch.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Layer, in order, on top of each chicken: 1 slice of ham, Colby Jack cheese, 2 tablespoons of the cheese sauce.
Roll the chickens onto themselves, encasing the ham and cheese inside them.
Place the chicken breasts onto a pan lined with foil.
Coat the chicken with a thick layer of egg, and pat the breadcrumbs onto the top side of the chicken.
Cook for 30 minutes.

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