Chicken Cordon Something

This isn't a recipe I recommend for everyday, just because the ingredients are a bit on the expensive side. But it's great for a special treat, and looks really impressive. I'm all for meals that look like you spent forever in the kitchen when what you really did was spend ten minutes in the kitchen and 45 minutes watching Lifetime.

You will need:

Boneless skinless chicken breasts (one for everyone)
Sliced deli ham (a slice for everyone)
Herbed cream cheese (this is the expensive part)
A bowl
A baking dish
A hammer
Saran wrap
A cutting board or cookie sheet

Preheat the oven to 350.

Rinse the chicken breasts and pat dry. Lay them out on the cutting board or cookie sheet. Cover with a piece of Saran Wrap and pound the heck out of 'em with the hammer. This sounds like a lot of trouble, but it's really kind of fun. You can use a kitchen mallet if you have one, but honestly, who has one? Oh wait - I used to have one. But now I have a hammer. It's a really pretty little hammer, too...enameled and painted with flowers and the handle comes off to reveal a set of screwdrivers. Perfect for hanging pictures and pounding chicken.

If you don't have a kitchen mallet or a hammer, anything heavy will do. I don't recommend shoes, because that would be Ewwww. Even with the Saran Wrap. Oh, and about the Saran Wrap, this isn't product placement, it's the voice of experience. Don't try this with the cheap knockoff stuff.

Your chicken breasts should be nice and evenly flat. Throw away the Saran Wrap and spread each flat as a pancake chicken breast with some of the herbed cream cheese. You don't want to skimp, but don't get carried away. A nice layer about 1/4 inch thick should do it.

Lay a slice of ham over the chicken breast, then roll it up. Pour the breadcrumbs (I use Italian) into a bowl and roll the chicken roll in them. Helpful hint: roll in the same direction you rolled up the chicken breast, or you'll unroll it.

Place the chicken breasts seam side down in the baking dish. If you want, you can spray the dish with cooking spray first, but it's not really necessary. If you have any leftover breadcrumbs, pat some more onto the chicken. Place a little pat of butter on top of each piece of chicken and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Some of the cream cheese will leak out - don't worry about it.

If you don't like ham and cream cheese, the basic idea of
pound the heck out of a chicken breast and then roll it around something works well with other fillings, like swiss cheese and spinach, or mozerrella and mushrooms.
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