Some people learn it on the school yard.
Or maybe from that kid you know is trouble on the back of the bus. It tumbles out of his mouth and you know you should not repeat it, but you desperately want to.
During a movie, an actor lets it pass their lips and your mother covers your ears.
Not me though. I learned it from my father.
He was preparing dinner for us; the first meal in the house we had all moved in to as a family. He had yet to marry my mother, but a family we were quickly becoming.
The oven broke. Our chicken breasts helplessly roasted on the top rack, my father unable to pry the door open. There was kicking. There was screaming. Expletives flew, words I had never heard before, contorted in to sinful phrases.
Then, there was the word. The word he taught me. The word I use, passionately, fully, on a regular basis. Oh, how I love the word.
Thank you, father. I have sinned a million times over and it is all because of you.
The captured chicken breasts that started it all were breaded and stuffed with cheddar and broccoli. Now, I would still eat these–who doesn’t like cheese and broccoli?–but this chicken cordon bleu is a definitively more healthy and arguably more tasty (sorry Pops) take on a stuffed chicken breast. This is a Cooking Light recipe, which pleases me to no end. One does not think chicken cordon bleu and low fat, but they manage to do it. It’s delicious comfort food without any of the guilt. The prosciutto adds a light touch of salt and the breading is flavorful and crisp thanks to the addition of the parmesan. These were a huge hit; I could not recommend them more. I almost forgot to snap a picture it smelled so great. One thing to watch out for–cooking time took longer than stated in the recipe. I have tweaked it here, but please make sure the chicken is done before serving.
I wouldn’t want you eating raw chicken and then having to call me…that.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
from Cooking Light
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
5 teaspoons butter, melted
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place broth in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 15 seconds or until warm. Stir in butter and garlic. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and paprika in a medium shallow bowl; set aside.
Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound each to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt, oregano, and pepper. Top each breast half with 1 slice of prosciutto and 1 tablespoon mozzarella. Roll up each breast half jelly-roll fashion. Dip each roll in chicken broth mixture; dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place rolls, seam side down, in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour remaining broth mixture over chicken. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear and tops are golden.
4 servings (serving size: 1 rolled chicken breast half)