Chicken Cordon Bleu..Sort of — Four out of Five Stars

So, I own this delightful cookbook, Cooking for Two.  The other day, I began thumbing through it to see what struck my fancy.  During this search, I discovered a tempting chicken cordon bleu for two recipe, complete with a wine-based cordon bleu sauce.  Unfortunately, after a Saturday of sitting around on my butt, I didn’t have the energy.  I then found this cordon bleu recipe from allrecipes.com.  A much simpler recipe, and I was in business.  (As a side note, my dad taught me to make cordon bleu over the phone: "Find thin chicken breasts, put in a piece of Canadian bacon, and a piece of cheese.  Dip in egg and then in flour.  Bake til done."  Simple directions, but that’s pretty much what I ended up doing for this meal.)

Before starting on the assembly, I looked in my fridge and noticed my GIANT bag of fresh spinach.  Spinach is by far my favorite leafy vegetable, and for some reason, I decided to buy the family size bag.  Yes, for my family of ONE, counting me.  Oh well.  It gave me inspiration to cook some spinach, and to add it to my cordon bleu.  After pounding the chicken breasts to about 1/4 inch thick, I put one piece of Canadian bacon, and two cheese wedges on one half of the chicken.  Then I put a little of the cooked spinach on top.  And then two more cheese wedges.  I folded half the chicken on top of the half with the toppings, and was in business.

Now, I like things spicy, so to the breadcrumbs, I added in some ground red pepper.  And then some black pepper, because…well, because I thought I should.  I wanted some savory seasoning, so I put in a couple shakes of thyme and rosemary.   In a separate bowl, I mixed an egg.  Then, I dipped the assembled chicken into the egg wash, and then dipped it into the breadcrumbs.  Onto a non-stick foil-lined baking dish, and into a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes they went.

In the end, these were very tasty, and I’ll make them again — maybe even for guests.  The texture was great, and the chicken juicy.  Next time, I’ll add a little more spinach and double the cheese.  Also, the dish was a bit salty…I think that probably has something to do with the packaged breadcrumbs, though — what else could have caused the salty flavor?  Also, I think the sauce would be worth it to add the final touch.  I added mashed potatoes (from red potatoes) and sauteed spinach to my plate, and it was a great meal.  I’m recommending this for others.

Let’s see if I can remember, and make my suggested changes on the fly
Makes 4 servings

4, 4-oz chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
4 pieces of cheese (I used swiss…maybe half swiss and half cheddar would be good)
4 pieces Canadian bacon
1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups raw spinach, then cooked down

  1. Assemble as described above (1/2 piece cheese, 1 piece bacon, spinach, 1/2 piece cheese on one-half chicken.  Fold the other half of chicken on top.)  Secure with toothpick if necessary.
  2. Mix spices into the breadcrumbs.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg.  Coat the chicken in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.

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