Chicken Cordon Bleu

**Close up of the nummyness...please do not try to eat your computer screen
**Photos courtesy of the lobster

This dinner was a winner!!!! It was so good...lobster said it was one of the best. This is a fancy shmancy grown up version of cordon bleu. I've never had cordon bleu but it will not be one of my favorite, "go-to meals." I'm so excited I have this recipe in my collection now. I remember when I saw Tyler Florence make this a couple years ago (that is not a typo, it really was two years ago) it looked so delicious on TV, but it didn't compare to smells eminating from my kitchen tonight. During the last few minutes of cooking I could smell the gruyere cheese and it smelled sooooooooo delicious I wanted to dive into the chicken breasts before they were even done cooking. A tiny bit of the cheese oozed out while baking so we scored an added bonus of fried cheese. Sooooo nummm!!!

This is a blend of two recipes. The stuffing comes from Tyler Florence's cordon bleu and the breadcrumb coating comes from Cook's Illustrated, Crunchy Pork Chops recipe (which is also a winner and can be found here) Cooking it on top of a wire rack really does keep the coating nice and crunchy and the breadcrumb coating keeps the chicken so moist and flavorful. I cooked these with a side of roasted broccoli that I found on this website, which was equally delicious. I figured since we were eating chicken coated in breadcrumbs stuffed with yummy, nutty, gruyere cheese I would balance out the dish with a veggie. Bon appetit :)

Chicken Cordon Bleu - 2 servings
2 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
1/2 cup Gruyere, shredded
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (should equal 1 ¾ cup)
1/2 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 tablespoon)
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
Ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/8 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Lay the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic and lay 2 slices of prosciutto neatly over the top to cover the breast and sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the prosciutto. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap. Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log. Repeat with remaining chicken. Season outside of chicken with salt and pepper

2. Meanwhile, pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about eight 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 ¾ cups crumbs). Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with thyme, and parsley.

3. Place 1/8 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 3 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.

4. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet. Dredge 1 chicken in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chicken with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that thick layer of crumbs adheres to chop. Transfer breaded chicken to wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken and cook until meat thermometer register 165 which will take about 30 minutes.

**My chicken breasts would not stay together so I sealed them with toothpicks. Next time I also wouldn't waste time with the egg/mustard mixture and simply coat them in an egg white mixture.