easy inside-out chicken cordon bleu (for two)

I love chicken cordon bleu, but it can be a very heavy dish. So when i saw this recipe on eatingwell.com (check it out if you haven't already, but only go for the top-rated recipes – trust me), I jumped on it. It's one of those meals you can easily make after work because it cuts all of the time-consuming steps that make chicken cordon bleu a special-occasion meal. And, thanks to my forever supply of Honey Baked Ham leftover from Christmas in the freezer, and surplus of carrots from my organic produce box, we had an easy meal on our hands – no trip to the grocery store required.

Here's how it goes:

Easy Inside-out Chicken Cordon Bleu for Two
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • All-purpose chicken seasoning (or basic salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons shredded or chopped Swiss cheese (or Gruyère)
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons coarse dry breadcrumbs (whole wheat works fine)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley (or thyme ... or any chicken-friendly herb)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ham (about 1/2 ounce)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with chicken seasoning. Combine cheese and cream cheese in a bowl.
  3. Heat a swirl of oil in an ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Move the chicken to the center so the pieces are touching. Spread with the cheese mixture, sprinkle with ham, then top with the breadcrumb mixture*.
  4. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F, 5 to 7 minutes.
*I burned my wrist doing this ... be careful!

Roasted Carrots with Cumin (thanks, Mark Bittman)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds baby carrots, green tops trimmed, or full-sized carrots, cut into sticks
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 400-425°F. Put the carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil; sprinkle with the cumin and salt and pepper. Reflect on your play-dough days and mix it up with your hands (or think of it as a free manicure). Roast until the carrots are tender and browning, about 25 minutes. Serve right away ... or not. These sweet, roasted babies are good at any temperature.

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