Quick Chicken Cordon Bleu
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.Advertisement
Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt. Combine cheese and cream cheese in a bowl. Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper with breadcrumbs, parsley (or thyme) and 2 teaspoons oil in another bowl.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large, 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 all pieces are touching. Spread with the cheese mixture, sprinkle with ham, then top with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F, 5 to 7 minutes.
Tip: It can be difficult to find small chicken breasts. Remove the strip of meat from the underside of a 5- to 6-ounce breast--the “tender,” about 1 ounce of meat--to yield a perfect individual portion. Freeze the tenders and use them in a stir-fry.
Note: We like Ian's brand of coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. To make your own breadcrumbs, trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs.
4 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat