The holiday weekend is over, and it’s back to reality. This Easter was a little unusual for us. My brother was unable to come home from college, so we’re going to celebrate further when my uncle comes to visit from Georgia in 2 weeks. In the meantime, as is custom for most American (Christian) families this time of year, we ate our weight in ham… and then STILL had leftovers!
So what is a girl to do when she’s close to ham-overload? Make Chicken Cordon Bleu. I will add this disclaimer up front: I grew up eating my mom’s Chicken Cordon Bleu, and it is a non-breaded version of the surprisingly American dish. If you want a good breading mixture to add to this recipe, I recommend referencing chef Tyler Florence’s recipe on foodnetwork.com.
I also chose to serve this with our friend Jenny’s Spinach Currant Salad. Together, it makes a very simple but elegant meal!
SPINACH CURRANT SALAD
*1 pkg. fresh spinach leaves
*2 oz. dried cranberries
*2 oz. sliced almonds
*2 oz. goat cheese
*¼ cup red wine vinegar
*¼ cup EVOO
*¼ cup honey
Wash and drain the spinach leaves.
Garnish with dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and goat cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, EVOO, and honey.
Pour dressing over salad, toss well, and serve.
CHICKEN CORDON BLEU
*Approx. 5 large chicken breasts
*1 pkg. sliced Double G ham
*1 pkg. sliced Swiss cheese
*1 can cream of chicken soup
*1-8 oz. container sour cream
*Salt and pepper to taste
*Parsley for garnish
Slice chicken breasts down the middle horizontally almost completely through. (An alternative would be to flatten them with a kitchen mallet and roll them, but as Alton Brown says, you usually just wind up with meat mush. I bought pre-sliced breasts and layered them like a sandwich.)
Stuff a slice of ham and a slice of cheese in the middle of the chicken breast. Then, stick toothpicks in the top to hold the layers in place during cooking. Place in a greased 9x13” casserole dish.
In a separate bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Then, spread this over the chicken.
Bake covered at 350° for a minimum of 45 minutes, or until chicken has reached 170° internally.
And for further cooking assistance, here is a handy temperature chart for cooking meat:
Image courtesy of http://www.ochef.com/418.htm.