Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine.
Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine. Finding new ways to cook up the standard bird and keep it interesting (and keep your taste buds dancing) is time-consuming but in this series of recipes, I will highlight many different ways to prepare your poultry so your meal rotation is anything but boring. So whaddya say? Let’s play chicken!
Traditional chicken cordon bleu is time consuming. The original recipe requires the breasts to be pounded thin, stuffed, rolled up, dredged, breaded and then fried. This also creates a lot of dishes, which I am not a fan of doing. Having a family of five plus weeknight activities to get to, I’m all about time saving meals that have all the flavor of the original dish. My timesaver trick to cordon bleu is to simply stuff it, brown it, bake it (which leaves time to make a side dish) and then top it with parmesan. The taste is exquisite and you won’t miss the extra carbs from the breading.
Look for an all-natural uncured ham (or turkey bacon) to create the cordon bleu flavors. Provolone or Swiss cheese is perfect combined with a touch of spinach to create a beautiful presentation when served. Instead of the intricate Dijon cream sauce that typically accompanies chicken cordon bleu, I simply spread a light brushing of Dijon mustard on the tops of each breast prior to baking. Top it with a bit of shredded parmesan before serving and your savory simple cordon bleu experience is complete.
To save time on dishes, I am a huge fan of cast iron skillets, which is what I use for baking chicken dishes like this one. Once cast iron pans are seasoned properly, they are non-stick, are amazing at browning meats, and can go directly in the oven (or grill) as well. They also don’t get washed in soap making clean up a bit easier. Simply scrub with a hot water and salt rub until any stuck bits are removed from your pan, wipe out, and re-apply olive oil. Wipe out any excess oil and you’re done.
Cordon Bleu Stuffed Chicken
Calories 325, Protein 38g, Carbs 2g, Fat 20g
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4 small or 3 large)
- 4 slices cooked ham (or 8 slices cooked turkey bacon), all natural uncured
- 4 slices provolone or Swiss cheese
- Handful or two of fresh spinach
- Ground black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Toothpicks, soaked in water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- With a sharp knife, slice a large pocket into each chicken breast being careful not to slice all the way through. You’ll want to cut to within about 1/4” on all sides leaving just the one side open for stuffing.
- Stuff a slice of ham (or 2 slices turkey bacon), a slice of cheese and some spinach into each chicken breasts.
- Use toothpicks to secure the open edge so it’s mostly closed.
- Sprinkle with pepper on all sides.
- In a cast iron skillet or other oven proof skillet, heat the olive oil or butter until hot.
- Sear the chicken on both sides until golden.
- Remove from heat.
- Brush Dijon mustard on tops of the chicken breasts.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and juices are clear.
- Remove from oven, top with parmesan and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
- Slice on the diagonal for a pretty presentation.