|Baked Italian Chicken Cordon Bleu|
This is the kind of dish that I like to serve at dinner parties simply because it can be prepared well in advance and then popped into the oven before your guests arrive. These were large breasts and still only took about an hour to cook completely. I use a meat thermometer to test the center. While poultry is generally well cooked at 185 degrees F, I almost always cook these to 175 because the center is not chicken but cheese and at 175 degrees F the provolone is melted perfectly while the chicken is not dried out. I also like to serve this particular stuffed chicken breast with Roasted Tomato Jam. That link will also include another recipe for a lower fat baked version of Chicken Parmesan.
To lower the fat content even more substitute extra lean ham and low fat cheese for the filling; still an outstanding meal.
- 4 large chicken breasts, butterfly cut
- 6 ounces provolone cheese
- 2 cloves finely minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups, bread, cracker or cornflake crumbs
- 2 tbsp dried mixed Italian herbs
- 6 ounces thinly sliced capicola ham
- egg wash, 2 eggs + 2 tbsp water whisked together
- salt and pepper to season
Lay each butterflied chicken breast flat. Season with salt and pepper on both sides and rub 1/2 clove minced garlic on the inside surface of the meat. Cut the provolone cheese into 4 sticks and wrap each one in 1 1/2 ounces capicola. Place the ham and cheese in the center of the flattened chicken and fold all sides of the breast meat toward the center to overlap. Flip the breast over so that the overlapped edges are on the bottom.
Mix the crumbs with the Italian herbs. Dip the stuffed chicken breast into the egg-wash and then into the seasoned crumbs. Place fold side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour or until the internal temperature of the breasts reaches 175-185 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Serve with Roasted Tomato Jam and a side of Orzo Spinach Prima Vera