Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Whenever I hear about the recipe "Chicken Cordon Bleu," I always think of the class high school prom dinner with this as the main course. Maybe I'm crazy, but it seems like it's one of those fancy, but not overly-priced meals that works great for something like a high school dance. Anyway, the main reason I rarely, if ever, make these is simply because of the time it takes to butterfly the breasts, stuff them with ham and cheese, attempt to roll them up and stick them together with toothpicks, roll them in breadcrumbs.. You get the picture. It's just way too many steps. Enter Chicken Cordon Bleu without the endless steps and mess. Chicken breasts are cut in half length-wise and then topped with slices of ham, Swiss cheese and bread crumbs and baked until golden brown and crispy. Then there's the sauce.. the creamy Parmesan Dijon sauce that tops it all. De-licious. Granted, it's definitely not as pretty as regular chicken cordon bleu, but when you're short on time and you're just feeding your family, then pretty isn't exactly the main thought that crosses your mind.

Chicken Cordon Bleu:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise to form two thinner chicken breast cutlets

  • 4 slices deli ham

  • 4 thin slices Swiss cheese

  • 1 cup bread crumbs

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Parmesan-Dijon Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. butter

  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (or 1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules)

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer each chicken breast with 2 slices of ham and two slices of cheese. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the chicken. Bake the chicken for 30 -35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and bread crumbs are golden.

While the chicken bakes, in a medium sauce pan melt the butter. Add in the flour, stirring constantly, for about 1-2 minutes until it forms a roux. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring. Add in the salt and chicken bouillon cube. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3 - 5 minutes. Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and add in the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep warm until chicken is finished baking. Serve over warm chicken immediately.

Note: If sauce is too thick, stir in more milk until it is at your desired consistency.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wraps

I'm usually pretty good at packing a lunch with me when I go to work everyday, but I'm not very good at bringing a variety of meals that I don't get tired of quickly. Sometimes I feel like I eat sandwich after sandwich until I would rather starve than eat another one. Lately I've been spicing things up a bit by trying new wraps filled with everything from eggs, bacon and potatoes to chicken salad. This is a fantastic recipe that has a slight Mexican zing to it. It is very versatile and can be used for lunch or dinner and it is very healthy compared to some of my other lunchtime options. I served it last night for dinner and it made plenty for my husband and I with enough leftover to bring for lunch today! And I have to admit: you just can't beat having a home-cooked meal for lunch. (Picture and recipe adapted from Good Life Eats)


  • 2/3 cup sour cream

  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice (or juice from one lime)

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. cumin

  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1-2 Tbsp. minced cilantro

  • 1/4 cup diced onion

  • 1/3 cup corn kernels

  • 1/3 cup black beans

  • 1/3 cup diced green or red pepper

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded

  • Burrito-sized tortillas

  • Sliced avocado

  • Lettuce or baby spinach

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and cilantro. Add the onion, corn, black beans, pepper and chicken and stir to combine. Cover and chill until serving.

To prepare the wraps: Layer chicken salad, lettuce and avocado slices in the center of the tortillas. Fold in the ends and wrap up to seal it.