Chicken Cordon Bleu – Popeye Style June 25, 2009Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.
OK, I’m going to start by saying. . . I love chicken cordon bleu. Good cordon bleu, that is, not that mass-produced, breaded frozen stuff that you can get.
“Cordon bleu” means, in the language of food (that would be, um, French), “blue ribbon,” and as far as I’m concerned, a thin-pounded chicken roulade – rolled up with some good ham and maybe some gruyere, smothered in a creamy white wine sauce is always going to be a winner. 😉
But what if you want to try something different – maybe something using up some of the odds-n-ends that are knocking around your fridge (and garden)? And let’s face it – I’ve learned to avoid keeping heavy cream around – it’s way too easy to make something sinfully rich and, well, it’s just too easy to get in trouble that way. 🙄
I wanted to do something similar to a cordon bleu, making use of what we have on hand. That, and one of Peeps’s favorite stovetop chicken dinners involves chunks of chicken sauteed, then sauced liberally with plenty of garlic and sour cream. 😯
So anyway, I want to do something with some of the stuff we have on hand, including a couple of chicken breast pieces, some spinach from the garden (yay garden!) and some fresh romano cheese we had picked up a couple of weeks ago.
The whole chicken, ham and cheese thing just SCREAMS cordon bleu, doesn’t it? And as for the spinach – well, come on. 😆
So we flattened the chicken slightly, then layered some shaved Locatelli, some fresh spinach (have I said YAY GARDEN! lately?) and a couple of thin slices of deli ham, then carefully rolled each breast into a little packet.
We heated a large-ish frying pan with a little olive oil and butter (actually, we used ghee) and lightly browned the chicken rolls.
Since we don’t want them to burn, nor do we want the cheesy goodness to get too melty and ooze all over the place, we pulled the chicken out of the pan and loosely covered it.
It can rest a bit. 😉
Meanwhile, we had chopped a couple (several) cloves of garlic, and they get lightly browned in the same pan, in the same butter/oil/chicken fond.
When the garlic is browned, but not yet burned (and that’s very important!), we deglazed the pan with a little white wine – not much, maybe a quarter cup or so. Just enough to loosen any stuck bits of chicken or garlic. Stir briefly, scraping up anything that might be stuck.
Let the wine cook and reduce a bit – it should get almost syrupy.
Once the wine is sufficiently reduced (you be the judge of that), return the chicken to the pan to finish cooking, covered and over low heat is probably best.
Now a word about sour cream.
Sour cream is darn close to nectar of the gods – in fact, I used to make a fruit salad called “Ambrosia Salad” that was packed full of sour cream, and it was fabulous. And I haven’t had it in years, and I think I’m about due for some.
Where was I again?
Sour cream. Sour cream should be used sparingly – it’s cream, after all, and cream is the fat part of whole milk.
Unless you’re a farmer, hard at work from dawn to dusk, too much of this stuff will kill you. 😯
But MAN I love it. 😥
Then, a few years ago, we discovered Daisy brand sour cream. What’s the word for when you thought you loved something, but then you find something that you REALLY love EVEN MORE?
I LURVE this stuff. 😆
This is probably one of the best commercially available sour creams I have ever had. It’s thick and creamy and full of creamy, sour flavor. And did I mention that it’s thick? There is just no comparison with any other supermarket brand that I’ve ever tried. And believe me, I’ve been eating (and loving) sour cream for a really long time now.
So several months ago, after I’d decided that I really need to actually make an effort to lose some weight, and I’d all but given up on sour cream, we decided to try some light sour cream, so we went to our friend Daisy.
I’ll just say this – while the full-fat variety of sour cream is FAR SUPERIOR to any other supermarket sour cream I’ve had, their light sour cream compares favorably to any other FULL FAT sour cream I’ve had in recent memory.
With half the fat. 😯
And none of the, uh, crap that you might find in low-fat dairy products.
And no, I’m not working for the Daisy Sour Cream company. I’m not being compensated – no one has paid me to say nice things.
However, if someone from the Daisy company happens to read this and, say, wanted to send me a free case of sour cream, I’m sure I could find a way to use it. . . I’m just saying. 😉
So back to dinner. The chicken is nearly cooked through (we checked the temperature – it should register about 150 in the center), so we dumped about 1/2 to 2/3 of a pint of (LIGHT) sour cream into the pan – this will be the sauce – and heat through.
By the time your sour cream sauce is bubbly, your chicken will be fully cooked, and your cheese will be melty but not yet leaking.
Timing is everything. 😀
The dish was delightful – creamy, garlicky, ham, a hint of cheese, and some spinach. The only thing I might do differently would be to use more spinach – believe it or not, the cheesiness in the chicken and the creaminess of the sauce nearly overwhelmed the strong spinach! 😯
I’m going to be submitting this to Fearless Fridays over at Home Ec 101 – not really because it was difficult (it really wasn’t!) but because I need to move outside my comfort zone more often – I need to get back to just tossing things together based on what’s available. Sometimes it might be a flop (or even disgusting!), and even then we learn from out mistakes, and every now and then, we find a gem like this one!