Blue Ribbon Chicken

Blue Ribbon Chicken

Blue Ribbon Chicken

This recipe is my super-basic take on the ever-so-delicous Chicken Cordon Bleu, which is typically breaded and fried.  I am trying to lighten up recipes and cut down on bad fats and carbs, so I got creative and simply increased the flavors and baked it!  You will fall in love with this recipe not only because it hits all the flavor notes: creamy, salty, and tangy; but also it does not take long to prep in the kitchen, as the ingredient list is short and sweet!  I lighten up the normally breaded chicken and throw in a flavor boost by substituting Dijon Mustard for the panko or breadcrumbs.  This adds a zippy coating to the outside of the chicken that is absolutely divine.  I also use Smoked Ham instead of regular to increase the flavor depth.  I considered using proscuitto instead of ham, but didn’t want to overpower the chicken with the saltiness of the proscuitto since I was using Swiss and Brie cheese.  This recipe should be easy to change up by trying a different type of meat and experimenting with various cheeses.  I knew I wanted to use the Swiss, because it pairs so well with Dijon, and I just happened to have some leftover brie I needed to use up, so I thought, Why the heck not?!?!  And the results were FANTASTIC!

I thought the most difficult part of this recipe was going to be butterflying the chicken.  I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out not to be as messy and disastrous as I had imagined.  The most important part when butterflying is to be sure you are using a nice, clean dry chicken breast and you have a well sharpened knife.  A good knife will slice through the chicken easily, and not tear or rip the meat apart.  So, just take your time and be careful and I’m sure you will be just as successful as I was!  Now I can’t wait to butterfly more chicken and stuff it with all types of different ingrendients and bake it!  Perfect for a Healthy Dinner!

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese

Spinach, Garlic & Feta

Artichoke, Sundried Tomato & Olive

Pepperocini, Salami & Provolone

All of these options sound like they need to be taste tested… But I digress…….those will have to be tried at a later date.  Now, back to my Blue Ribbon Chicken.

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Yummmmmm, looks amazing, doesn’t it???  Ok, here’s how you make it!

First you grab these basic ingredients out of your fridge:

Smoked Ham, Sliced Brie, Sliced Swiss, Dijon Mustard and Black Pepper

 

Pretty Simple,  just as I promised!  Next, make sure your chicken breasts are clean and dry and give them a quick butterfly then season the inside with Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.

 

Butterflied Chicken Breasts with Ingredients Ready!

EATDRINKBE TIP:

How To Butterfly a Chicken Breast

Place your chicken breast on a cutting board and (with your hand flat on top of it) use a sharp knife to slice halfway into one side of the breast….starting at the thicker end and ending at the thin point. Be very careful not to cut all the way through to the other side! Then open the breast up so that it resembles a butterfly.  And voilà, a perfectly gorgeous butterflied chicken breast.  You can also pound it out a little bit now between wax paper to allow the chicken to cook evenly.

Layer the Ingredients inside the butterflied chicken breast.

Now, the chicken breasts are butterflied, opened and seasoned.  Next you start to layer.  First put a small dollop of Dijon Mustard on each breast.  Then layer a Slice of Swiss Cheese, 2 Slices of Smoked Ham and 2 Slices of Brie Cheese.

Coat the Chicken Breast Dijon Mustard and Fresh Ground Black Pepper

 

Lastly, close up the now stuffed chicken and coat the outside in Dijon Mustard and Fresh Ground Black Pepper.  You can use a bamboo toothpick to help keep the fillings in, but I was OK with some of it leaking out to help create a “sauce” so I actually skipped this step.  Depending on the ingredients,  you might need to use one to help with the seal.  Just be sure to SOAK WOODEN TOOTHPICKS IN WATER for 15 minutes before you use them so they won’t burn in the oven!

 

This isn’t a gorgeous picture, but here it is, fresh out of the oven. You can see the gorgeous juices  it made and allowed the chicken to stay nice and moist.

 

Bake 385º for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is done (the juices run clear or 160º) and the cheese is all melty and bubbly.  Serve with any green veggie!  I made  Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms and Peppers with a little EVOO, Garlic Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.

 

Blue Ribbon Chicken

 

Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this!  I hope you try it and fall in love.  This one with definitely be making its rounds in my weekly recipe rotation.  You can even make and stuff the chicken ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you are ready!

INGREDIENTS

Heat Oven to 385º.  Spray Casserole Dish or Pyrex  with nonstick spray.  Butterfly Chicken Breasts and season with salt and pepper.  Dollop a teaspoon of Dijon Mustard on each opened breast and smear.  Layer Swiss, Ham and Brie into butterflied chicken.  Close Chicken tightly keeping all ingredients inside and seal with a few toothpicks, if using.  Season outside of stuffed chicken with fresh pepper & salt.   Then coat entire outside of each chicken breast with 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard.  Put in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is done!

 

The salty, smokey, creamy chicken is just oozing with flavor.

And here is a quick pic of my side!

Before Roasting:

Brussel Sprouts, Mushrooms and Peppers heading to the oven to roast!

 

After:

We like a little bit of char on our Roasted Veggies!

 

And, I forgot I added a few torn pieces of leftover bacon that we had cooked that morning for breakfast.  I added it to the veggies the last 3-5 minutes of cooking.  The bacon was already cooked, so I just wanted to warm it up and let some of the grease get in those veggies for another pop of flavor!

 

ENJOY!!!!

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Easy Entertaining

~ Easy Entertaining ~

Beautiful & Delicious

Beautiful & Delicious

Now that the weather is warming up, we all want to entertain.  I am going through some old photos and finding some cute, easy ideas to pass along.  Enjoy!

Above: Roll a Log of Goat Cheese in fresh chopped herbs and lemon zest.  Garnish with Chive Flower (I believe I used fresh organic thyme, chives, parsley, lemon zest, s&p)

 

Table Display

Bright & Colorful Display Ideas

Starting Bottom to Left: Herbed Goat Cheese, Edamame Hummus & Fresh Veggies, Caprese Bites, Radish & Herbed Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Foraged Quinoa and Berry Salad, Drunken Pasta, Smothered Greek Hummus, Baked Brie with Grapes and Thyme

This was actually for another BookClub that I hosted.  I tried to use all my own produce and herbs and local ingredients.  I had chosen the book Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter.  I needed more lettuce than I had, so I even foraged dandelion greens from my yard!!!  Gotta keep with the spirit of the book!  I have some of the pics, so I’ll post them.  Not 100% of all the recipes, but I’ll do my best to remember what I can.

 

Veggie & Hummus

Veggie & Hummus

Just Slice Veggies of your choice and put a dip in the middle!

 

Edamame Hummus:

1 package Organic Edamame (cooked & drained)

1-2 T organic Tahini

2 Cloves Organic Garlic

1 Organic Lemon Zest & Juice (or lime)

1/2 – 1 Jalapeño (to taste)

1 T Organic Chili Powder

Put in Blender or Food Processor.  Blend.  Drizzle in GOOD, LIGHT ORGANIC EVOO until desired consistency (4-7 T)  I kept this one a bit more rustic rather than creamy.  Less EVOO….healthier.  Put in cute serving dish and sprinkle with Chili Powder or Paprika. Cilantro is also good in this!

Makes a great

Use a Variety of Veggies & Color Coordinate!

Caprese Bites

Caprese Bites

Pretty Basic:

Layer Basil, Mozzarella & Tomato on Fork

Drizzle with GOOD Balsamic Vinegar & EVOO

salt & pepper

Radish Tea Sammies

Herbed Radish Tea Sammies

Supereasy.  Bought Tea Sized Rye/Pumpernickel Bread.  Made a custom herb cream cheese to spread.  (soften 1 package organic cream cheese, blend herbs of choice, salt & pepper.  I think I used thyme, chives & parsley)  Slice Radishes.  Top with 2 Radish Slices and Sprinkle with Fresh Herbs (thyme & chives)

 

Foraged Quinoa & Berry Salad

Foraged Quinoa & Berry Salad

Variety of lettuce and foraged greens, Quinoa (cooked & cooled), My Fresh Raspberries, Local Blueberries, Local Goat Cheese (could substitute Feta or another creamy cheese….I like the tanginess the goat cheese) s&p.  Tossed with Lavender Balsamic and drizzled with EVOO.

Brie, Grapes, Thyme & Lavender Balsamic

Brie, Grapes, Thyme & Lavender Balsamic

Beautiful & Delicious!

Top Brie with Grapes, Lavender Balsamic, Fresh Thyme, s&p

Bake 400 7-10 mins.

DEVOUR!!!

Lemon, Cucumber, Mint

Lemon, Cucumber, Mint

So Refreshing!

eat.drink.be

Kari