One of my good friends Kristin is an editor at the fabulous blog A Woman’s Paris. I would highly recommend this site for anyone interested in French style, culture, cooking and more. In addition, the creator of the site is a talented artist and sells her whimsical drawings as iPhone and iPad covers at the following site. I love them all but I think the Avenue Montaigne drawing is my favorite.
After my successful (but tiring!) attempt creating French macarons last year and talking with Kristin about French cooking, I was inspired to try and create a classic French dish but to add a Southern twist to it. Below is my adaptation of the famous French entree Chicken Cordon Bleu. This recipe has its roots in a Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals episode that I watched years ago in college but never wrote down. The thick, hearty mushroom-gravy is what really makes this a “Southern” dish. Bring your appetite to the table when you make this dish – it’s rich and very filling!
Southern-Style Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mushroom Gravy
Ingredients (for the chicken)
4 chicken breasts, butterflied (you can have the butcher do this for you)
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
*You also need: Toothpicks
Directions (for the chicken)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place small amount of cheese, sage and prosciutto in each chicken breast. (Note: I overstuffed the chicken breasts and put way too much filling in the pictures below. They are included so you can see the layout only.)
4. Heat a skillet using medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil. When heated, add the chicken breasts and brown.
5. When browned, place chicken breasts on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until fully cooked.
6. Remove from oven and place one breast on each plate. Remove toothpicks immediately before adding gravy and serving.
Ingredients (for the gravy)
1 package crimini or button mushrooms
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. flour
Dry white wine
Chicken Broth (low sodium stock)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions (for the gravy)
1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add butter. When butter is melted, add mushrooms to skillet and cook until browned and soft.
2. Add flour and 1/4 cup wine and 1/4 cup chicken broth to skillet. Mix until incorporated and warm.
3. Season with salt & pepper. If you want more acidic sauce, add more wine. If you want thicker sauce, add more flour. I usually wing it here so apologies I can’t give more specific directions!
Sauteed Green Beans or Spinach
Cheesy Risotto with Peas
Arborio Rice (4 servings according to rice package)
2 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 32 oz. container low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 – 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a saucepan, heat chicken stock until warm but not boiling. Keep warm while you prepare the risotto.
2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add butter. When melted, add garlic, rice and 1 cup chicken stock, stirring frequently.
3. When the chicken stock cooks off, ladle another cup of broth into the pot. Continue doing so until the rice is cooked, which should take about 20 minutes.
4. About halfway through cooking the risotto, try out the rice. If it is TOO chicken-y, substitute 1 cup of water instead of chicken broth when the liquid runs out for the next cycle.
5. When the rice is cooked, add the peas and Parmesan cheese to the pot, stirring rapidly to incorporate.
6. Serve immediately and top with freshly ground black pepper and an additional sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.