Thursday, January 13, 2011
Chicken Cordon Bleu Bread Bowls
I saw this recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe and I just had to try it. It was definitely "good chicken!" I really liked the sauce served with it--I kept adding additional sauce as I was eating mine. So next time I will probably increase the amount of sauce I make and not use a slotted spoon when filling the bread bowl so I get sauce down in the bread bowl as well. Don't skip the step of toasting the bread bowls before filling them--the toasted bread was really good with the filling!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Bread Bowls
For the Chicken and Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed (about 2-3 chicken breasts)
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons flour (I recommend 4 tablespoons flour--I would have preferred a slightly thicker sauce)
½ cup apple juice (or use chicken broth or some lemon juice as part of the liquid)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard (I used coarse ground mustard instead--but Dijon mustard would be good, too)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (I used fresh thyme because I had it on hand)
2-3 cups broccoli florets
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
4-6 medium round regular or sourdough bread bowls
8-10 thin slices smoked ham (I chopped up the ham to make it easier to eat)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.
Place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tight fitting microwave-safe lid. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until tender but still bright green. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside.
In a 10- or 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute until the chicken begins to brown but isn't cooked all the way through, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened (when chicken is still slightly pink), about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken/onion mixture and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring, constantly for one minute.
Gradually add the chicken broth and apple juice, stirring constantly to avoid any clumps from forming. Stir in the cream, Parmesan cheese, mustard and thyme. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in the broccoli; season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Hollow out the inside of the bread bowls by cutting off the tops and tearing out the insides. I like to leave about a 1/4-inch edge along all sides of the bread bowl. Compress the remaining bread together to firm up the sides and make room for the filling. Place the bread bowls on the prepared baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the toasted loaves from the oven and arrange the ham slices in the bottom of each loaf. Using a slotted spoon, divide chicken mixture evenly between loaves, reserving about 1-2 cups sauce in the pan for serving. Top the chicken mixture in each loaf with shredded Swiss and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Bake the bread bowls until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes. Serve each bread bowl with reserved cream sauce.