Tag Archives: chicken

Southern-Style Chicken Cordon Bleu

26 Apr

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.

Avenue Montaigne, Paris

Avenue Montaigne, Paris
Photo Credit: A Woman's Paris

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
Serves 4

Ingredients (for the chicken)
4 chicken breasts, butterflied (you can have the butcher do this for you)
Fresh sage
Fontina cheese
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.)

3. Starting at one of the narrow ends of the chicken breast, roll each chicken breast up and secure with a couple of toothpicks.  Coat each roll up in flour.

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!

Serve With…

Sauteed Green Beans or Spinach


Cheesy Risotto with Peas
Serves 4

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.

Sunday Supper: Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup

11 Dec

Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla SoupThis past summer, my friend Sarah told me about a blog called Sodium Girl that specializes in low sodium/salt free recipes that still taste great.  As someone who is health conscious and also trying to watch my sodium intake, I was immediately hooked on this site!  Last month, SG posted a recipe for Salt Free Chicken Tortilla Soup which you can find here.  I was waiting for the perfect lazy Sunday evening to test it out.  This recipe was so easy to make after a long weekend and really hit the spot now that it’s chilly in NYC.  My adapted recipe is listed below.  I found all of the ingredients no problem at the neighborhood Whole Foods.

Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup
(Adapted from Sodium Girl)
Serves 4

For Soup:
1 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 ripe hot house tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp no-salt added tomato paste
3 cups water
1 Whole Foods rotisserie chicken (Note: SG’s recipe provides directions if you want to cook the chicken from scratch.  I was too hungry/tired/lazy to go through this process.)

For Toppings:
4 green onions, sliced
1 small red onion, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 lime, quartered
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced (Note: For less heat, remove the seeds.)
Greek yogurt (0%) or sour cream (Note: Use Greek yogurt if you’re watching calories/fat intake.  You seriously can’t taste the difference)
Tortilla chips, broken into pieces

Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup Toppings

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped garlic and corn, stir continuously for five minutes.  Don’t stop stirring or you will burn the garlic.  This happened to me on my first try and I had to start over…
2.  Next add the four spices, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and water to the pot.  Stir occasionally and bring to a boil.  Then cover with a lid, lower heat and let simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
3.  While the soup is simmering, shred the rotisserie chicken into pieces and set aside.  Be sure to remove the skin.
4. Add the shredded chicken to the pot and increase heat to medium-high again.  Bring to a rolling boil then lower heat a bit until it is just bubbling and continue to reduce without a lid for 15 to 20 minutes.  (Note: Don’t skip this step!  If you do, the soup will be watery and not as flavorful.  Letting the soup bubble during this time helps intensify the flavor and thicken the broth.)
5. While the soup is cooking, prep your green onions, red onions, avocado, lime, jalapeno peppers, Greek yogurt/sour cream and tortilla chips that you will have as a garnish.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with garnishes as desired.

Here’s what the soup looked like before I added the garnishes:
Low Sodium Chicken Tortilla Soup

This meal was met with raving reviews by D.  He didn’t even notice the lack of salt which really speaks to the flavor of the soup!  He likes extra spicy food and suggested using Habanero peppers next time and adding them to the pot during the reducing period to add extra spice to the dish.  Since my mouth is still burning from the few jalapenos I added to my bowl, I probably won’t try that,  but it’s a great suggestion for those who do like it extra hot!

Where I Come From, It’s Cornbread ‘n’ Chicken

21 Aug

I’m in London for work and earlier this week, my very British coworker and I were trying to decide what to order for lunch.  She recommended the chicken goujon salad from Tossed, proclaiming it a traditional British meal.  You can imagine my surprise, when I opened my lunch box and found a salad of iceberg lettuce, shredded cheddar, carrots, and fried chicken fingers!!  It made me smile because it seemed so typical for the Brits to take a casual, blue collar food and try to make it seem more upper crust by adding a fancy name to it.  This was JUST like one of the many fried chicken salads that I ate growing up in the south.  It did get me thinking though – NYC has designer BBQ (more on that in a future post), but New Yorkers don’t seem to appreciate fried chicken or “chicken goujons” nearly as much as the Brits do.  Where can you get good fried chicken in New York?  In my opinion, the pickings are slim.  Here are a few recommendations for when you get a fried chicken craving:

142 West 10th Street
(212) 255-2330

The Fried Chicken Biscuit is one of the best things on the menu, which is filled with lots of Southern specialties (pimento deviled eggs, shrimp ‘n’ grits, bourbon chicken livers, onion dip w/old bay chips).  This entree comes with a generous portion of fried chicken breast on a warm cheddar biscuit topped with country sausage gravy and onion jam.  If you’re watching calories, ask for the gravy on the side, but you’ll probably end up wiping the plate clean it’s that good!  Recommend washing it all down with a John Daly, an alcoholic version of an Arnold Palmer (sweet tea, lemonade, vodka and a splash of soda) and, in my option, the perfect summer cocktail.

Hill Country Chicken
1123 Broadway (Corner of 25th Street)
(212) 257-6446

I LOVE everything about Hill Country BBQ.  The food is awesome, the atmosphere is relaxed and great for groups, and the live karaoke nights are a ton of fun.  Given all of this, I was thrilled to try out their new sister restaurant specializing in fried chicken a few months back.  To be honest, while the decor is very cool and the concept original, I was a little bit disappointed with the food here.  HCC offers two types of fried chicken – the Hill Country Classic and Mama Els’ recipes.  Mama Els is skinless, which to me doesn’t truly qualify as fried chicken, nor does it taste as such.  The Hill Country Classic comes with the skin on, but has sugar in the breading, which creates a different flavor that most will not like (I certainly didn’t).  The real reason I have this restaurant on my list of places is because it’s one of the only places in NYC that serves 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer.  I am not much of a beer drinker, but this beer is enough to make me consider switching from wine to beer.  It’s light, crisp, slightly fruity, and the perfect complement to a fried chicken dinner or any outdoor BBQ fare.  You can also find this seasonal release at Whole Foods if you want to enjoy a six pack at home.  I always have some in my fridge in the summertime!

Blue Ribbon Brasserie
97 Sullivan Street
(212) 274-0404

Blue Ribbon might be best known for it’s raw bar and first-date atmosphere, but it’s also a great spot for good home cooked food.  In addition to a fabulous, filling fried chicken entree (it’s big enough for two) that is served with mashed potatoes and gravy and collard greens, the restaurant also serves fried oysters and grilled shrimp remoulade, two more Southern classics.  One word of advice on the fried chicken though – it is served with a side of honey which I’d suggest skipping.  It detracts from the flavor of the chicken and makes for a messy meal (not so good if you are on a date here!).

Bon Korean Chicken
98 Chambers Street
(212) 227-2375

I stumbled upon this hole-in-the-wall a few years ago when I was serving jury duty downtown.  While you won’t find Southern fried chicken here, you will find quick, no frills Korean fried chicken wings and breasts with the slightest hint of sweetness and spice cooked into the skin.  The name has changed a few times since my first visit, but the food is still the same.  The next time you’re downtown, be sure to check this place out!

Images courtesy of http://www.itcamefromnyc.com, http://www.monkeybrewster.com, http://www.cango.com.