Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu in Mushroom Cream Sauce with Wilted Spinach

This was the first complex recipe dish I had ever made. It was all grilled cheese and bologna sandwiches before this. The reason for cooking was my first real "date" and I wanted to impress, I think I was about 16. It was a challenge for my first culinary endeavorer but I got it done with some short cuts and both the food and date worked out well. Looking back, that was an amazing day. This is my current version. Since I haven't made it in a few years I added some new techniques. This feeds 4, takes about 2 hours to make and costs about $25. The recipe normally has rosemary but I didn't have any so I substituted with thyme and marjoram.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

2 oz Vegetable Oil
4 Chicken Breasts, sliced into two thin pieces, lightly pounded
8 slices of good deli ham (I used Board's Head Maple Glazed)
8 slices aged swiss
2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, chopped fine
16 toothpicks
1 cup of all purpose flour
salt and pepper

Cut the "tenderloin" off of the chicken so you have a nice even whole breast. Now cut the breast into two by laying you knife on the cutting board and running it back and forth evenly and slowly creating two thin chicken cutlets. OR you can by thin cut chicken breast and make it easier. Lightly pound out the chicken between two sheet of plastic wrap, make sure you don't pound it to thin, there should be no holes.

Mix the mustard, honey and herbs in a small dish. Coat one side of the breast with mustard mix and place one piece of ham and one piece of cheese toward the thinner end. Starting at the thinner edge, roll the chicken up and secure the roll by sticking in the toothpicks. Pull the roll tight before inserting the toothpicks. Season the rolled chicken with salt and pepper then coat with flour.

Start a deep large frying pan or large pot on medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the chicken in batches, turn a few times to get a golden crust on each side. This take about 2 to 3 minutes per side. We do not have the cook the chicken all the was through at this point. Just get the good color and set them aside on a plate, we will cook them thorough later.

Mushroom Cream Sauce

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 package of button or crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper

In the same pot that you cooked the chicken, add the onions, garlic and mushrooms and let cook for about 5 minutes or until softened. Now add the butter and mix, then add the flour and mix well, let that cook for 3 minutes or until flour is incorporated. Now add the white wine and let that cook down, about 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream, herbs and stock then salt and pepper to taste. Let that cook down for 10 minutes.

Now add the chicken back to the mushroom sauce and let that cook for 20 minutes on low heat. Remove the chicken and then take out the toothpicks, they should come out easy now.

I cooked some onions in a sautee pan then I turn it up to high. I threw in my spinach and turned off the heat. I let the spinach cook for about 3 of four minutes and constantly stirred. Lay down two chicken rolls and then spoon some of the sauce over the top. Serve the spinach on the side and you have a love making meal. Buon Apetito!

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