Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Wheat Free Almond Crusted Chicken Cordon Bleu

We try and buy a bunch of cheese when we go down to Grand Forks. Its less than $1 per 100 g for specialty cheeses at Target which is a good deal - dying to see if our Canadian Target prices are going to be in the same ballpark. Last time we brought back Swiss. Or should I say my hubby brought back Swiss because I didn't really need it for anything. Well - he opened it yesterday because he was "craving it" but now I had to find something to do with it. Given how utterly creative I am I came up with something out of this world original.....Cordon Bleu. I guess there is a reason this dish has stood the test of time - its a bloody good combination of flavors. In keeping with my Wheat-free theme I replaced the wheat breading with an almond flour breading and it was delicious. It seems complex (or it does to me whenever you have to stuff something) but I pulled this dish together pretty quickly so you can too.
Low Carb, Wheat-Free Cordon Bleu - a chicken breast stuffed with Swiss cheese, nitrate and gluten free ham and then breaded in almond flour - french and fantastic!
In going clean I am also trying to cut back on our consumption of nitrates so I have been buying the Schneiders Country Naturals ham (my kids love ham). I got it at Walmart for $8.97 for 700 grams and Superstore also has it for under $10. Yes - the sodium is still high but its gluten and nitrate free so that's much better than where we were 6 months ago. Sometimes it seems that going clean is expensive but $1.29 per 100 grams is pretty reasonable so don't just assume the "clean" stuff is too expensive for your budget. And if you don't like buying such a big piece of ham then just dice half of it up, freeze it,  and you have ham ready for pizza, omelets or soups. Very "ham"dy for busy days. Yep - I really need some sleep because I do think that is pretty funny!

Gluten and Nitrate free ham - and not a bad price!
Chicken Breast Stuffed with Ham and oozing with Swiss - yum!

Wheat-Free Chicken Cordon Swiss

3 large Chicken Breasts
3 thick slices of Swiss cheese
3 thin slices of nitrate free, gluten free ham (if possible), cut into small strips

2/3 cup almond meal (almond flour would work as well)
1 tbsp golden ground flax seed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 egg, well beaten

2 tbsp butter, melted

If chicken breasts are frozen, I usually make an insert in the chicken using a knife when they are still partially frozen. Its easier that way but if they are thawed it will work too - just might take a bit more patience. I try to leave an external opening of only about an inch or two wide but run the knife through the inside of the chicken to make a pocket for the stuffing (be careful to not go through the other side). See picture below.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put half of the melted butter in a glass 9 x 13 pan. Mix your breading together and place in a shallow pan. Put the egg in a separate shallow pan. Once your chicken is fully thawed, stuff one piece of Swiss and 1/3 of the ham into the chicken pocket. "Sew" the pocket closed using two toothpicks. Roll the chicken breast in the egg and then in the breading and place it the pan. Repeat. Drip the other half of the butter over the top of the breaded chicken breasts.

Bake for 45 -50 minutes or until juices run clear and breading is crispy. Take it out of the oven and use a spoon to pour any of the drippings/butter back on top of the chicken breasts. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Voila - mademoiselle you just made wheat-free, low carb chicken cordon bleu.

I served with balsamic glazed brussel sprouts - recipe to come soon!

Hate to leave you with a picture of raw chicken but thought you might like to see one with toothpicks and one that is being stuffed.....hope that helps. 


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