And so I make my return to lazy blogging with a Lazy Chicken Cordon Bleu (not Blew as the spell-checker tried to convince me! ) The past few(?!) months, as much as I like cooking and baking and eating and telling people about it, I just wasn't feeling the blogging. A good chunk of my time was devoted to preparing and baking a wedding cake for one of my close friends, but more about that in a future post...
Why Lazy Chicken Cordon Bleu you ask? The traditional way of preparing Chicken Cordon Bleu involves rolling the flattened chicken breast around a piece of pork meat (like ham or prosciutto) and a soft cheese, then crumbing the entire parcel and deep frying it (sjoe!). I decided to rather just fold the chicken over on the filling, and making a crust for the top.
I recently bought a Bamix with a wonderful food processor attachment; its nut grinding abilities lead to this recipe one evening my boyfriend came over to make dinner. I assigned him the task of making the accompanying Creamed Spinach, along with the official title, 'Vice President of Spinach' :P
I used almonds and coconut for the crust which gave it a lovely subtle, exotic flavour, as well as robust Gouda which provided a good base flavour.
On the accompaniment side, the Vice President of Spinach did an excellent job by adding a bit of NoMU Black Pepper and Pistachio Dipper to the creamed spinach which really took the dish to the next level! I've made the Creamed Spinach a few times since, it will definitely become part of my regular cooking repertoire.
The best part of making this meal for two people, was that I had delicious leftovers to enjoy all over again the next day!
Lazy Chicken Cordon Bleu Makes 4 portions
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 cup Dessicated Coconut
- 1/2 cup Blanched Almonds
- 1/4 cup Strong Cheese, grated (I used matured Gouda)
- 8 Bacon strips
- Cream Cheese
- a few sprigs of Thyme
- Preheat the oven to 180'C on bake.
- Place the coconut, almonds and cheese in a food processor, process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. (The quantities indicated are just a rough guideline, don't worry too much about being accurate here)
- Place a chicken breast between 2 sheets of cling wrap. Use a heavy bottomed pan to flatten the meat until it is about half it's original thickness.(Whack the meat with the pan!) Do this with the rest of the breasts as well.
- To assemble: Take a chicken breast, place 2 strips of bacon on so that they cover the whole breast. Place a spoonful of cream cheese in the center of the breast, add a few sprigs of thyme, and fold the breast over. (The fold should be perpendicular to the long edge of the breast.)
- Put the chicken on a baking tray, bake until the bottom edge is just cooked through. Remove the tray and turn the chicken around(cooked side should be on top). Spoon the crumb mix evenly over all the pieces of chicken, use your fingers to pat it down a bit. Return the chicken to the oven and bake it until the bottom edge cooked. I turned on the grill for the last few minutes to get a nice brown crust.
- 300g Spinach (white stems removed)
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
- Half a pack of Bacon (I used the bacon left over from the chicken!)
- 30g Cream Cheese (2 portions)
- 1 heaped tsp of NoMU Black Pepper & Pistachio Dipper
- In a pan, fry the onions,garlic and bacon until the onions are soft.
- Add the spinach bit for bit until everything is in the pan. (The volume of the spinach decreases a lot when it is cooked, thus the volume of fresh spinach is too much to add to the pan in one batch)
- After all the spinach has been added, add the cream cheese and dukkah, and cook until the spinach is done to your liking.