Chicken Cordon Bleu

Happy Easter everyone! To me, Easter means more than just chocolate eggs, it also signifies the start of spring. While I am busy updating my wardrobe with all the pastel-color items. My slumbering taste buds also tingle in anticipation of the fresh new flavors of the approaching season. Lighter dishes for brighter days- it’s time to bid farewell to all the hearty soup and stew!

Chicken cordon bleu is possibly the most famous “French” chicken recipe in the world when, in fact, it is not historically connected to France. Chicken cordon bleu was an American creation in the mid-20th century. Only its name, which means “blue ribbon” in French, can be traced to France. In a typical chicken cordon bleu recipe, ham and cheese are rolled up inside a chicken breast and fried until crispy. For this lighter version, the whole thing is baked until the outside is crispy and the cheese inside becomes oozy. The chicken remains très délicieux despite a modest amount of oil used, and it pairs well with a tangy salad!

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Ingredients (2 serving):

  • 2 chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
  • 2 thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 slices of Emmental cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions”
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Lay the chicken thigh between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
3) Remove the top sheet of plastic, lay 1 slice of prosciutto over the top of the chicken then add a slice of cheese over.
4) Tuck in the sides of the chicken and roll it up tightly inside the plastic wrap. Seal and twist both ends tightly to form a log. Repeat with remaining chicken. Put in refrigerator to set for 30min.
5) Season the flour with salt and pepper.
6) Remove the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs.
7) In a small skillet, brown chicken in oil on all sides.
8) Carefully transfer the chicken to a baking dish. Add the melted butter on top of the chicken as it will help the crust brown.
9) Bake for 35 minutes until browned and cooked through.


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Chicken and Creamy Dijon Linguine

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini.

Very few women I know today lead simple lives. Most of us are juggling multiple roles with work, family and friends, let alone all the work-out regimes and beauty routines. Whenever I catch up with my girlfriends and ask how they’re doing, the most common response is not “Fine, thanks!” but “Busy, really busy.”

Life gets busy, but that doesn’t mean we need to compromise the taste of our meal as a result! This rich and decadent Dijon cream sauce is very easy to make and it pairs well with chicken, pork and even fish and can be used to create many other great dishes. Exactly what we need for a busy mid-week dinner!

Chicken and Cream Dijon pasta


Ingredients:

  • 200 gram linguine, cooked
  • 2 boneless chicken cutlets (sliced and seasoned with salt & pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp of chicken broth

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Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat.
2. Add chicken and garlic; fry the chicken until completely cooked.
3. Remove chicken from pan.
4. Add onion to pan, salute until they turn transparent.
5. Add the white wine to the pan.
6. Simmer until the volume is reduced by half, then add the whipping cream, mustard and chicken broth.
7. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon.
8. Return Chicken to the sauce, and simmer for an additional 1 minutes.
9. Serve over cooked linguine.

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Dark Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Biscotti

Biscotti is a traditional Italian cookie where the dough is formed into logs, baked, cooled slightly, and baked again in slices. The name biscotti is derived from ‘bis’ meaning twice in Italian and ‘cotto’ meaning baked or cooked. The Italians use the word “biscotti” to refer to any type of cookies, while in the English speaking world the term was used to describe this particular long, crisp, sophisticated looking cookie. The best biscotti is crunchy without breaking your teeth, crumbly without tasting sandy or dry. And when it is dipped into a steamy mug of coffee… aww…It just melts in your mouth!

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Ingredients (yields 1 dozen):

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts ( roughly chopped )
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of almond extract
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla and almond extract.
  4. Sift the flour, soda and baking powder into a bowl, then add salt, hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Fold into the egg mix to make dough.
  6. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a 25cm sausage shape with lightly floured hands, then transfer to baking sheet.
  7. Flatten to a 3cm thickness, bake for 30 mins until lightly browned on surface.
  8. Take the log out to a chopping board, reduce the oven to 160C.
  9. Cut the log into 1cm thick slices and return to the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 mins until crisp.
  10. Cool on a wire rack. Will keep in a tin for 3 weeks.