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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

healthier cordon blue



4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (about ½ cup)
8 ounces Black Forest ham (about 8 slices)
3 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into pieces
20 reduced-fat Ritz crackers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¹/8 teaspoon salt
¹/8 teaspoon pepper
Vegetable oil spray

Cut a pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast. Tightly roll 2 tablespoons of the cheese in 2 pieces of the ham. Repeat with the remaining cheese and ham. Stuff each chicken breast with 1 roll. Transfer the chicken to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 20 minutes or up to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, adjust the oven racks to the lowest and middle positions and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pulse the bread and crackers together in a food processor to coarse crumbs, about 10 pulses. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and toss with the melted butter. Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 7 to 9 minutes. Let the crumbs cool to room temperature.
Turn the oven to 450 degrees and set a wire rack inside a second rimmed baking sheet. Place the flour in a shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and mustard together until combined. Spread the cooled crumb mixture in a third shallow dish.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with the
salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess. Coat the chicken with the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off. Coat all sides of the chicken with the crumb mixture, pressing to help the crumbs adhere. Lay the breaded chicken on the prepared wire rack. Lightly coat each breast with vegetable oil spray.
Bake the chicken on the lowest rack for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and transfer the baking sheet to the middle rack. Continue to bake until the chicken breasts register 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Tip: Chilling the stuffed chicken breasts helps them stay closed during breading. After resting, the cooked chicken may be cut on the bias into ½-inch-thick slices for an attractive presentation.

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