Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

April 4: National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day

At a get-together with our Ukrainian friend, Olga W., we sampled regional Russian cuisine, such as pierogi, borscht and Chicken Kiev. She mentioned that by adding ham and cheese to the rolled chicken cutlets, Chicken Kiev becomes Chicken Cordon Bleu. While the recipe sounds French in origin, this “blue ribbon” dish is actually a 20th century American invention inspired by European roulades and breaded meats. We baked instead of fried our version of Chicken Cordon Bleu and coated it in panko for a crunchier texture. It is a nice change for a chicken meal and most appropriate to make on National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from WiseGeek)

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced and pounded to ¼-inch thick
  • 4 slices ham
  • 4 slices Swiss or Gruyère cheese
  • ¼ cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • olive oil

Directions

Prepare the chicken. Place the ham and cheese on top of each slice of chicken. Tightly roll them up, securing with a toothpick.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Make an assembly line of flour, egg and panko (pre-mix the panko with thyme and garlic powder). Dredge the chicken in the flour, then egg and finally panko. Place in a baking pan with the seams side down. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink inside. Remove from the oven. Discard the toothpicks before serving. Serve whole or slice in half to expose the ham and melting cheese.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Notes

  • Sometimes a little gravy is poured over the chicken before serving. To make the gravy, bring ½ cup chicken broth to a boil in a suacepan. Reduce the heat and whisk in 1 cup heavy cream. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little dried oregano to taste. Stir until the gravy is thickened. Spoon over the Chicken Cordon Bleu.
  • Read about the background of Chicken Cordon Bleu on the eHow and Food Timeline websites.

40-Clove Garlic Chicken

40-Clove Garlic Chicken

April 19: National Garlic Day

Vampires, beware! April 19 is National Garlic Day. While we aren’t so much fans of vampire pop culture, we are fans of the “stinking rose.” We have a ceramic garlic keeper, silicone garlic peeler, metal garlic press and a garlic cookbook, “The Great Garlic Book: A Guide with Recipes” by Chester Aaron, from which our blog recipe post is adapted.  The cookbook features “40-Clove Garlic Chicken with Cabernet Sauce” from the appropriately named restaurant, The Stinking Rose (they also have another version of this recipe on their site). Perhaps by eating this aromatic and flavorful dish, we can scare away vampires with our breath.

Recipe

(Adapted from The Great Garlic Book by Chester Aaron)

Ingredients

  • Chicken (we used 6 chicken drumsticks; the original recipe calls for 1 frying chicken, about 4 or 5 pounds, cut into pieces)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (we used sea salt)
  • 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 40 cloves of garlic

Directions

In a large bowl, toss the chicken in olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and 40 cloves of garlic. Cover and marinate the chicken for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the chicken in a baking dish surrounded by the garlic cloves. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes to cook the garlic. Remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes or until the chicken and garlic turn golden brown.

40-Clove Garlic Chicken

Notes

  • Peel the garlic cloves with a silicone garlic peeler. Or purchase peeled garlic cloves from the fresh produce section of the grocery store.
  • The pungency and bitterness of the garlic is cooked out of this dish, leaving the cloves soft and slightly sweet.
  • To get rid of garlic breath naturally, chew on rosemary or parsley. Also freshen your breath with cardamom, fennel, a lemon wedge or mint.