Inside-Out Chicken Cordon Bleu

Inside Out ChickenOne of the things that is so much fun about cooking is taking a concept and making it your own. I saw this recipe in the Food Network Magazine and it looked fantastic – but I had a few ideas.

What could be better than ham? Pancetta, of course. And what could be better than fig jam? The unique spruce tip jam we brought back from a recent trip to Alaska.

So, when I made this recipe it had a few substitutions…so you could certainly make some of your own. One thing I wouldn’t substitute, though, is the salad – the dressing has a great sweet tang and is the perfect complement to the dish.

INSIDE OUT CHICKEN CORDON BLEU
4 Servings

3 tablespoons fig jam (or any earthy jam you like)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
8 thin slices black forest ham (or pancetta)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 cups baby greens

Mix the jam, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Lay out a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Place the chicken on the plastic and brush half of the jam mixture evenly on top of each breast. Mound a quarter of the cheese on each piece of chicken, then wrap 2 slices of ham around each breast to cover the cheese. Place another piece of plastic over the chicken and gently pound with a mallet or heavy skillet until about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side until cooked through but still moist, 3 to 4 more minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the shallot, mustard, vinegar and the remaining jam mixture in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to make a smooth dressing.

Place each piece of chicken on a plate and drizzle with dressing. Toss the greens with the remaining dressing; serve with the chicken.

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