What’s For Dinner?
5:30 Chicken Cordon Bleu
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
5:30 Challenge / 5 ingredients / 30 minutes
One of the best things about writing the “5:30 Challenge” is hearing from loyal readers who send in recipes year after year. Liz Jarnagin of Monroe goes for a “three-peat,” sending in two new recipes in addition to one that was printed more than a year ago.
The first of her new recipes is for a streamlined version of a classic dish. Jarnagin writes: “I’ve made chicken cordon bleu in the past by rolling the ham and Swiss inside the chicken breasts, but the cheese always oozed out once it was melted. I decided to cook the chicken in bite-size pieces, then create a gravy and stir the ham and cheese into the sauce. I couldn’t believe how good it came out.”
Jarnagin whisks the flour in after adding the broth. After trying it that way, I decided to incorporate it directly into the extra oil left from browning the chicken because I had a hard time getting a smooth sauce adding it later, although Jarnagin says with firm whisking it will blend into the sauce in about 10 minutes.
-- Jeanne Besser
Hands on time: Total time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 ounces deli ham, chopped
2 ounces Swiss cheese, chopped or grated
In a well-oiled large skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until just cooked through. Remove and set aside, tenting with foil to keep warm.
Reduce heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons flour into remaining oil in the pan, adding a little more if the pan is particularly dry, until flour is absorbed. Add chicken broth, increase heat and bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits of flour stuck to pan. Cook until sauce begins to thicken, stirring frequently. Add chicken and ham to pan and stir to coat. Sprinkle Swiss cheese on top and cover. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts.
Take the 5:30 Challenge. If you have a great-tasting main dish recipe that uses no more than five ingredients and can be made in 30 minutes or less, tell us. (Salt, pepper, water and oil for greasing a pan don't need to be included in the ingredient list.) Send recipes to 5:30 Challenge, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sixth Floor, 72 Marietta St. N.W., Atlanta GA 30303. Or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.