First before I get started on the recipe portion of this post, I want to say sorry for not being very active lately. School started on March 8th and I’ve been consumed by it. This is my first trimester and I am taking all academic courses (no actually culinary courses until the Fall). What some might thing isn’t a big deal, taking Biology, Public Speaking, Leadership and Menu Planning and Cost Control really is to me. For starters, I haven’t taken Biology in at least 14 years, I’ve never taken any of the other courses and I truly hate public speaking. I’ve been out of college for about six years now so jumping back into this with both feet has been at times a little overwhelming for me. It’s also been a little challenging for Bryan and I…we’ve kind of grown used to me being home all day, taking care of the house, making at least two meals a day etc. Now I am up at 4:00 am, getting the bus at 4:50 to Providence, walk three blocks to the Downcity Campus, wait about 30 minutes to get the shuttle to the Harborside Campus (where the culinary arts program is) and then starting class at 7:00. Thankfully though I am done with classes by 11:15 M-Th and have Fridays off. Now you are probably wondering why I get up at 4 and take the bus to school. Several reasons. One I don’t drive, two if I did we only have one car and with gas prices being as they are…it is more economical for Bryan to be taking the car to class than me driving to and from Providence each day. Plus with my student ID, the bus is free anywhere in the lovely state of Rhode Island. Honestly, I don’t mind the early mornings at all. I thought I would but being done at 11:15, coming home, studying/doing homework making dinner and actually having time to relaxing with Bryan for a bit before I crash around 9:30-10:00 is worth it. If my classes were in the afternoons I wouldn’t be home until about 8 or 9 at night. Plus this is my dream and I would do just about anything to make it happen. So you can think I’m crazy, that is just fine but I choose not to focus on the “oh my goodness you get up at 4 am, that is just crazy” comments, and push on towards my goal.
Speaking of my goal – after planning out my next few trimesters, which will mostly be culinary labs (yay!) and two more academic courses I will have my Associates Degree next summer!! Next winter I need to apply for the BA in Culinary Nutrition, which I have been told is really hard to get into, so I am doing my best, studying hard and trying to get all A’s. I put a lot of pressure on myself for several reasons, I want this so badly. As I said above, I’ve been out of school for a while now so none of this is fresh in my mind, and also I am at least 11 years older than the majority of these students. Seriously I feel old, have little to nothing in common with them, but I’m doing my best. Thankfully though most of them think I’m about 17 years old and when they hear me say 29 they laugh and don’t believe me…well its true I am, just don’t look at all the gray hairs coming in (and yes they are there, I promise you, lots of them!)
So again, I am sorry for my absence but please be patient as I get used to this new schedule and figure out a balance of home life, school/work and my blog. I have a lot of respect for those other bloggers who blog everyday, some times several times a day and have jobs and families – you are all rock stars!
Now on to the recipe!
We saw some commercial the other day, I think it may have been for subway- anyway they were advertising a chicken cordon bleu sandwich and Bryan made one of those “mmmmmmm” sounds. To me having a sandwich like that from subway just sounded nasty. The “mmmmmmmm” sound wasn’t really for the sandwich its self but the idea of chicken cordon bleu. I tend to associate those with weddings or banquets of some sort so I never really thought of trying out a gluten-free version of one. Apparently Bryan really likes them so I said we could either buy you some frozen ones or I can attempt to make some – he obviously chose me making one instead. I did a bit of researching online to see what was actually in the breading of it, I knew that it was chicken, Swiss cheese, ham and breading but wanted to get the flavoring right. Honestly this is a really simple meal to make, I based mine off of a Tyler Florence recipe found on Food Network and we really enjoyed it…well mostly, Bryan isn’t so much a fan of the Thyme so I think next time I might leave it out completely or add a different kind of seasoning.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 4 double chicken breasts (about 7-ounces each), skinless and boneless
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thin slices deli ham
- 16 thin slices Swiss cheese
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (I used Jeanne’s of Art of Gluten Free Baking mix-see below for recipe)
- 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs or gluten-free rice crumbs (I used Orgran’s Rice Crumbs)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness (FYI a small fry pan or empty wine bottle work just fine, if you are like me and don’t own a meat mallet). Take care not to pound too hard because the meat may tear or create holes. Lay 2 slices of cheese on each breast, followed by 2 slices of ham, and 2 more of cheese; leaving a 1/2-inch margin on all sides to help seal the roll. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll. Squeeze the log gently to seal.
Season the gluten-free all purpose flour with salt and pepper; spread out on waxed paper or in a flat dish. Mix the Gluten-free breadcrumbs or rice crumbs with thyme, kosher salt, pepper, and oil. The oil will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and water, the mixture should be fluid. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, then dip in the egg mixture. Gently coat in the crumb mixture. Carefully transfer the roulades to a shallow baking dish (I used my Le Creuset because, I love them and they are the easiest baking dishes to clean up!) and bake for 20 minutes until browned and cooked through. Cut into pinwheels before serving.
Here is Jeanne’s All Purpose Flour Recipe:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C (170 g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205 g) white rice flour
1 C (120 g) tapioca flour
1 C (165 g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)
Hope you enjoy this recipe, its simple, flavorful and most ingredients you probably already have at home. We served ours with some garlic broccoli and a side salad.
I have more catching up to do – product reviews and a giveaway I promise it will happen soon! Please stay tuned.