SKILLET CHICKEN CORDON BLEU: THE PEPPER JACK VERSION

This easy dish is impressive, not only in presentation but taste. Though I usually use chicken tenderloins in place of whole chicken breasts since tenderloins are more forgiving when it comes to “moist and tender,” use whichever you like (though I would give whole breasts a good pounding to thin them a bit). As for the Pepper Jack cheese, it’s every bit as good as mozzarella–in a different way, of course. Enjoy!

3/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs

3 tbsp chopped parsley, divided

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

8 chicken tenderloins

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

8 slices deli ham

8 slices Pepper Jack Cheese

1) Preheat broiler

2) In large zip top bag, add Italian and Panko breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp parsley (reserving 1 tbsp for topping), salt, and pepper; shake to combine; add chicken and shake to coat

3) In oven-safe skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and butter; when butter melts, add breaded chicken to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes each side until done; remove skillet from heat

4) Place slice of ham on each chicken tenderloin in skillet, followed by slice of Pepper Jack cheese; place skillet under broiler and broil 2 minutes until cheese melts and is lightly browned; remove from oven and sprinkle with reserved parsley; yum!

Servings: 4

HAM AND CREAM CHEESE SKILLET CHICKEN

Skillet chicken is fast and relatively easy–and especially tasty when breaded and topped with cheese and ham. Though you can substitute chicken breasts for chicken tenderloins, the fine line between just right and overcooked breasts is much thicker with tenderloins. Practically foolproof. Yum!

Ham and Cream Cheese Chicken

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 eggs

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins (8-10 pieces)

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

4 oz cream cheese softened

8-10 thin slices deli ham (I used Citterio’s Rosemary Ham)

1/4 cup shaved parmesan

1 tbsp parsley

1) Mix flour with salt and pepper in shallow bowl; in separate shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs; to third shallow bowl, add panko breadcrumbs; dredge tenderloins, both sides, in flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs and place on a plate

2) In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil; add breaded chicken tenderloins and cook each side 3-4 minutes until just cooked through; reduce skillet heat to medium

3) Lightly spread cream cheese over each chicken tenderloin (note: if cream cheese doesn’t spread easily, heat in microwave 10-15 seconds); top with ham and scatter parmesan cheese over top; place lid on skillet and cook 1 minute; remove from heat and scatter parsley over top; serve and enjoy!

Servings: 4

SKILLET CORDON BLEU: THE SWISS CHEESE VERSION

For my family’s final night with us following our son’s graduation last spring, I went the impressive–but fairly easy–route by making skillet Cordon Bleu for dinner. Though I overcooked the chicken a bit, since they were tenderloins they were forgiving and the meal was delicious. This serves up well with yeast rolls and a spinach-romaine salad drizzled with Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette (yes, I’m hooked on this dressing).

Skillet Cordon Bleu ~ The Swiss Cheese Version

1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup chopped parsley, divided

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 lbs chicken tenderloins (12-16 pieces)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

8 oz thinly slices deli ham (about 16 pieces)

8 slices Swiss cheese (halved into 16 pieces)

1) Place oven rack 5-6″ from heating element and preheat broiler

2) To large zip top bag, add Italian and Panko breadcrumbs, parsley (reserving 1 tbsp for topping), salt, and pepper; shake to combine; add chicken and shake to coat

3) To oven-safe skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and butter; when butter melts, add breaded chicken to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes each side until done; remove skillet from heat

4) Place slice of ham on each chicken tenderloin in skillet, followed by slice of Swiss cheese; place skillet under broiler and broil 2 minutes until cheese melts and is lightly browned; remove from oven and sprinkle with reserved parsley; serve to your hungry ones!

Servings: 6

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/24/12.