recipe: chicken cordon bleu with roasted vegetables
A good night always starts with my friends texting me:
"Are we still on for dinner? If so, what can we bring?"
I am blessed with friends who will bring all the ingredients if I promise to cook. They get a good meal. I get to flex my skills in the kitchen without going to the grocery store. Fair trade in my book.
One of my friends is a diabetic, and I love a challenge. The mission was a low-carb, no-sugar dinner, heavy on the protein and vegetables. Easy peasy.
I went with chicken cordon bleu with a swiss cheese white sauce and roasted vegetables. Here's how it went down:
4 chicken thighs
4 slices ham (not that wimpy sandwich meat, something thick from the deli)
8 slices swiss cheese
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon bacon fat
1 tablespoon butter
1 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
1 to 2 slices swiss cheese
2 green squash or zucchini
a handful of mushrooms
1/2 of a small onion
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the thighs on a flat clean surface and pound each of them to roughly 1/2 inch thickness. Thankfully we have a kitchen mallet, but in the past I have wrapped the bottom of a glass in plastic wrap and used that. Whatever you do, use some force. Think of your ex if needed.
Lay one slice of ham on each of the flattened chicken. Lay two slices of cheese on the ham. Roll them up with the seam of the chicken on the bottom. Place in a glass pan.
In a skillet, melt the oil, butter and bacon fat together. When it's nice and sizzling, pour it over the chicken in the pan. Use a spoon to make sure that each piece of chicken has a nice all-over glaze. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the chicken (you could omit this or really coat it, but for this low-carb version, just a sprinkle will do... and of course you could always use mashed up Chex mix as a substitute).
Now for your veggies.
Slice your squash and mushrooms. Chop your onion. Throw it all in another glass pan. Drizzle it with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper (maybe some seasoned salt). Cover the top with foil.
Put both glass pans in the oven (I don't think it matters which is on top). Cook for 25 to 30 mins.
About five or so minutes before it's done, you need to prepare your sauce.
In a skillet, melt butter. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking with a fork the entire time. When it becomes frothy and foam-like, add milk very slowly -- again, whisking to keep it from clumping. You want enough milk so that it has the consistency of gravy. So pour slowly until you get there. Toss in a dash of salt and pepper. Pick apart your remaining slices of swiss cheese and put them in the mixture. Stir until everything is melted and somewhat smooth.
When you plate your chicken, spoon the sauce on top of it. This sauce thickens and gets cold quickly so use all of it on your chicken and serve the dish with the veggies immediately.