Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

prepared by and photo by Emily Doscher

In need of a sit-down family meal?  Give this recipe a go.  Takes some time to prep in addition to the cooking time, but the stuffed chicken breasts over wild rice topped with a creamy mushroom sauce is worth it.  Serve Broccoli & Cauliflower w/Lemony, Chive, Mustard Butter alongside.

Size: 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 6 oz packages uncooked long grain & wild rice mix
3 oz block Gruyere cheese
6 very thin slices Black Forest ham
6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups half & half, light cream, or whole milk
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (2 oz)
2 tbsp dry sherry (optional)
Green onions, sliced (garnish)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.  Evenly spread rice mixes in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; keep warm.

Cut cheese block into six 3x 1/2x 1/2″ thick logs.  Wrap a slice of ham around each cheese log.  In the thickest side of each chicken breast half, cut a horizontal slit, but not through to the other side.  Stuff ham-wrapped cheese log into each slit.  Secure with wooden toothpicks.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and the pepper.

In a shallow dish, place the 1/3 cup flour.  In a second dish, lightly beat eggs and water. In a third shallow dish, place panko.  Coat chicken pieces with flour.  Dip in egg mixture; coat with panko.

In a 12″ skillet, cook half of the coated stuffed chicken pieces in hot oil for 4 minutes or until golden, turning to brown all sides.  Remove chicken from skillet.  Repeat with remaining chicken.  Remove toothpicks.  Place chicken on top of rice.

Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, the 2 green onions, and the garlic;  cook until tender.  Stir in the 2 tablespoons flour.  Gradually stir in half & half.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir shredded cheese into sauce until cheese melts.  If desired, stir in sherry.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon sauce over chicken.  Cover dish with foil.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170F).  Garnish with sliced green onions.


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Author: Emily Sarah Downs

Cuisine Coordinator, Tips From Town, Ridgewood, NJ

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