Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Playdate Special: Chicken Cordon Bleu with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Shallots

Irresistible, crunchy, smokey and with some melted cheese. So what would it be?  The image of a Croque Monsieur passed briefly in my mind, but then there was all that butter and all that bread. Then the other image was a dressed up omelette. But all those eggs? The common factor for all of my culinary ambitions were here: Very French style food.
I also would like to make sure that everybody would eat something, even though I knew we probably were all in such a rush last playdate for a two-courses lunch. Kids could also have helped on the cooking, but there was no time for that. 
On the night before I baked a Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie, with a hint of fresh mint and lots of fresh vanilla beans. At least I knew something was totally ready to eat.
I then gathered mentally some of my favorite ingredients and did some research, and found a delicious solution at Tyler's Florence Food Network website. And there it was: a beautiful Cordon Bleu chicken. I used his recipe as a reference and changed some ingredients that would please me more: Smoked Turkey Ham, Shallots and Sun dried Tomatoes. Chicken Breasts would be covering all of those wonderful flavors and textures...  And Japanese style breadcrumbs would guarantee the crunch.
So, I rushed and tried to make them to be ready on time, and started to prepare the rolls early in the morning.
When the clock was close to 11:05, time that everything should be ready to eat, I figured out that  more oven time was needed for the chicken. The solution was to slice the rolls and give them an extra cooking time, on a hot skillet.  Finally all the guests - kids and moms- could taste what I thought to be one of the best menus I chose for the long time. I think they all agreed with the interest they showed while eating, even though it was such a fast lunch. But with no fast food.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Shallots and Sun-dried Tomatoes

I used julienned sun-dried Roma tomatoes conserve and fresh shallots to be the main personalities of this stuffing. Fresh thyme might be great with those, I just didn't have time to get some from my backyard while preparing the chicken...

4 skinless and boneless breasts of chicken, butterflied
4 slices mesquite turkey
4 slices Swiss Gruyere cheese
1 medium shallot, thinly chopped
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, thinly chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground peppercorns
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup water, added to the egg
1 cup flour
1 cup panko (or normal breadcrumbs), to coat rolls

After butterflying each chicken breast, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and cover both sides with plastic food wrap. Pound each side with the flat part of the pounder to get close to 1/4 inches. Remove plastic from one side. Add one slice of Gruyere cheese and one of smoked turkey ham. Spread mix of sun dried tomatoes and shallots over ham. Roll the chicken breast with the help of the remaining wrapping plastic, firmly. Tuck in the wedges and keep all tight with the film. Repeat the same for each breast and keep the rolls on the fridge for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 F.

Beat egg with water. Remove plastic wrap, and coat the rolls with the mix and coat them with a layer of flour and then Panko (or normal breadcrumbs). Roast for about 30 minutes on the middle rack of oven. Make sure the core is cooked, and slice the rolls. Enjoy!


Andi said...

Sounds yummy Anna! Im always looking for new chicken ideas

Myrna said...

It is easy to understand why the children got so interested: it looks great, and one can foresee a great taste as well. Worth trying! Thank you, Anna!


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