Monday, August 16, 2010

Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu and Risotto Recipes

The recipes that we used for the main course of Sarah's birthday dinner were originals that Kevin and I came up with ourselves. I had scoured the internet trying to find a unique pasta or entree that would fit nicely with our other meal plans, but I couldn't find anything that I wanted to use for this occasion. So, since risotto is Kevin's specialty, I enlisted him to help and create something fabulous that could go along with a chicken dish that I would make. We decided to make sun-dried tomato and spinach risotto and I'd serve chicken stuffed with prosciutto and cheese, similar to chicken cordon bleu. We also chose asparagus to round out the plate. So, here's how we did it.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 6 thin sliced chicken breasts
- 6 slices of prosciutto
- 6 slices of mozzarella cheese

box panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian herbs and spices

Preheat your oven to 375. Depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts, you may need to flatten them out even more. The thinner they are, the easier it will be for you to roll them up and they'll cook faster. To do this, place a slice of chicken on a cutting board and place some clear plastic wrap over top and pound them with something heavy. You can add a little bit of vegetable oil to make the process easier. Then use a meat mallet, frying pan, or rolling pin (something heavy and flat) to pound the chicken out evenly. Repeat this with the other slices until you have them all about the same size and thickness.

Take your thinly sliced chicken and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs. Then, lay out the chicken breast flat on a plate or cutting board and top with one slice of prosciutto and one slice of cheese. You can use any cheese you like, many people like to use swiss, but I chose mozzarella for this party because it is pretty universal and doesn't have too strong of a flavor. Then, holding one side of the chicken, roll the layers towards the other end so that you have a spiral of chicken, prosciutto and cheese on the middle. Place the roll with the flap-side down, so it won't come unrolled. Repeat this for the other slices of chicken.

Prepare a breading station using 3 shallow dishes or bowls and a casserole dish. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and pepper to one dish, whisk the eggs together and add them to another, and add the panko bread crumbs to the last. To bread each chicken roll, first coat the roll evenly with flour, then dip into the egg and finally coat in the panko breadcrumbs. Place the breaded chicken roll into the casserole dish and repeat with the other rolls.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout. Serves 6.

Here's the risotto recipe from Kevin:

Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Risotto

- 1 ¾ cups Arborio Rice
- 7 cups Chicken Stock
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 white onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ stick of butter
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1-2 cups of baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian herbs to taste

Sauté onion in ¼ stick butter, add 1 tsp salt and pepper.

Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until light brown.

Add Arborio rice and the white wine, cook over med-high heat, until wine is evaporated, stirring often.

Add 2/3 cup chicken stock and cook until boiled out, stirring often.

Repeat until half of the stock is gone, Add spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.

Continue adding the stock until the rice is soft, there may be some stock remaining.

Add ¼ stick of butter and

Parmesan cheese, stir.

Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and herbs to taste.

Garnish with parsley and serve. Serves 6-7.

Easy Sautéed Asparagus
- 1 large bunch of asparagus
- Extra virgin olive oil
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian herbs
- Parmesan cheese

Wash and dry asparagus. Chop off the woody ends of the stalks with a knife or snap the end of each spear by hand at the point they want to break(this ensures that you won't get any pieces that are too hard to chew). In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus and season with salt, pepper and spices. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, plate and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese.

We hope you have a chance to try out one of these recipes... enjoy!!

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