Maybe it’s because it has a fancy, French sounding name, but chicken cordon bleu has gotten a reputation for being a difficult-to-make, fancy, decadent dish. Well, not to go all French on you, but au contraire, my friend. Chicken cordon bleu is, essentially, just a chicken cutlet pounded out, stuffed with ham and cheese, and coated in bread crumbs. With a few simple steps, you can not only make your own at home, but you can lighten it up, too: this cordon bleu is baked right in the oven. With a simple salad of lightly dressed summer greens, this is a perfect weeknight dinner that’ll have everyone in your family asking for seconds.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices deli ham
4 slices Provolone cheese
1 teaspoon water
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola or olive oil spray
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Layer the cleaned chicken breasts between pieces of waxed paper on a cutting board and carefully, using a rolling pin or the smooth end of a meat tenderizer, pound out the chicken breasts until they are an even ¼-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper and spread on each a piece of Provolone cheese and a piece of deli ham. Carefully roll up the chicken cutlets, jelly roll style. Measure the flour into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. In another dish, crack and whip together egg and the water. In a third dish, combine the panko bread crumbs, the minced parsley, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Taking care that the chicken cutlets don’t unroll, carefully dredge them, until completely coated, first in the flour, then the egg, and finally in the panko bread crumbs. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, seam side down, and lightly spray the surface with the canola or olive oil spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.