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Thursday, November 15, 2012

[Lighter Chicken Cordon Bleu] Classic combination of chicken, ham, and cheese in style

I had never been a big fan of chicken breast. I've always been wondering how a chicken's breast could be so dry and big. (I am definitely a dark meat person). But, of course, I don't doubt that chicken breast is a very healthy nutrient as a 100 g serving of baked chicken breast contains only 4 grams of fat and 31 grams of protein. On the other hand, a lean skirt steak of the same portion has 10 grams of fat and 27 grams of protein.
I like eating chicken breast, but only with some fatty nutrients such as cheese or/and ham. That must be why I love cordon bleu which orchestrates "dry" chicken breast with fattier ingredients like ham and cheese.

The cordon bleu is a traditional dish prepared with a cutlet (chicken, turkey or veal), rolled around ham and cheese, then breaded. It can be either fried or baked.

There are a few versions of the origin of the name "Cordon Bleu":
First, Cordon bleu (English: "Blue cords") was used by cooks, to tie slices of cutlets
Second, Recipe was invented by a Grand chef cuisinier (English: a grand chef). (* Cordon Bleu now refers to a  Grand chef cuisinier.
And third, another popular theory is that the recipe was invented by the culinary school Le Cordon Bleu.
How about this? What I would like to imagine of the origin of the dish is that a Cordon Bleu, i.e. a Grand chef cuisinier who once taught at Le Cordon Bleu(school), must have used to tie slices of cutlets with cordons blues (Blue cords). That would be a hat-trick of Cordon Bleu, wouldn't it? :D

And if you choose to bake cutlets, including this cordon bleu, instead of frying, it cuts at least a couple of hundred calories very easily.
If you want a great chicken recipe, see my Chicken Milanese recipe here.

This lighter cordon bleu is another great chicken recipe.
(adapted from Everyday Food Vol. 96, P. 86)

Here goes the recipe:

1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup 1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 chicken cutlets
salt and pepper
8 slices backbacon or any kind of ham (I used Mortadella)
4 slices Swiss cheese
baby lettuces or spring mix

1. Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix together panko and 1 teaspoon olive oil until coated.

2. Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken breast into cutlets, so you're slicing parallel to the cutting board.
Make salad dressing: combine vinegar, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1/4 cup oilve oil, and a pinch of sugar. Mix well.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

On a baking sheet,
sandwich ham and Swiss between 2 chicken breast cutlets. 

4. Brush tops with olive oil, season with salt and pepper,
and broil until golden , about 5-7 minutes.

5. Spread each stack with 1/2 teaspoon mustard and sprinkle with oil coated panko.

Broil until panko is golden and toasted, for 1-2 minutes.

6. Toss lettuces with the dressing, and serve with chicken.

It is delicious! The best thing about this lighter cordon bleu is that it is a calorie-wise dish!    :)

Baked Chicken Cordon Blue


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