Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Joanne's Savory Summary

Every Friday during the end of my work day, I start to look through recipes for the following week and prepare my shopping list.  As part of our weekend routine, David (my husband) and I go food shopping at our local Wegman's (only the best supermarket in America hands down) in preparation for the week ahead.  So as I scanned the ingredient list for this week's recipe, I was pleasantly surprised that I had most of these ingredients on hand.  That definitely made the food store prep very simple and we easily knocked out the remaining ingredients during our regular food shopping. Also, after scanning the recipe I realized how quick the cooking process seemed to be.  Between that and the easy ingredient list, I had high hopes for this maybe coming into the weekday rotation if everything went well. 

Finally, Sunday early evening came and it was time to put my high hopes and cooking confidence to the test.  I laid out all of the ingredients in my normal OCD fashion and got to work.  I ran into snag number one when I realized that I did not in fact own a meat pounder.  After scrounging through all of my kitchen gadgets I turned to David's tool set.  I finally settled on your basic hammer and made a note to get myself a proper meat pounder in order to avoid further embarrassment and improvisation. 

Once this tiny snag passed, the rest of the prep and assembly process went seamlessly.  I made each of my "chicken sandwiches" and fastened them securely with an exorbitant amount of toothpicks.  I figured I would err on the side of caution so I could avoid anything falling apart.  Cue snag number two.  When I consulted the recipe, it said that the chicken should be browned in olive oil on one side for approximately four minutes and two minutes on the other side.  I'm not sure if my oil heated up more quickly than anticipated or my pan wasn't what Martha used but my chicken cooked extremely fast.  I had to pull off each piece early to avoid burning the outside.  Come to think of it the panko bread crumbs may have contributed to this.  In any event, I improvised (again) by lessening the stove top time and baking the chicken for 10 minutes instead of the recommended 5 to ensure it was cooked through.   

In the end, the result was a deliciously cheesy and well cooked piece of chicken.  It was moist and flavorful and was just the right amount of food for a balanced dinner.  I served it with a baked potato and steamed asparagus.  The whole meal was balanced and didn't leave David or I feeling like we had bricks of food in our stomachs.  As an added bonus, the leftovers made a great lunch today!  This is something that I will absolutely make again and the ease of the entire process may even make it a doable weeknight meal.  First things first though... I'm off to buy a meat pounder...

Happy Eating!

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