On Sunday when I asked Steven what he would like for dinner, he said something involving cheese, because we had a brick of colby-jack in the refrigerator. I knew we also had deli ham, so I suggested Chicken Cordon Bleu.
“You’ll need to get some chicken,” he pointed out.
“I’m going to the store,” I said.
“And some cordon bleu.”
We had a good laugh speculating on which grocery aisle that would be in or if I would have to stop at the Cordon Bleu Store. We do get silly.
Full disclosure: what I make is not really Chicken Cordon Bleu. I’ve never followed a recipe, for one thing. I use chicken, cheese and ham. Beyond that, I make no promises. I was happy to find boneless skinless thighs at the grocery store. I have a problem with the breasts drying out. I suppose real chefs know how to combat that dilemma, and here we come to the ugly truth about me.
I was going to make spinach and artichoke dip for an appetizer, so I put some frozen spinach in a colander and poured hot water over it to thaw it. Then I crushed up some garlic and set the timer for 15 minutes so it would reach its full health benefits (at our age, we need all the help we can get). I crushed enough for the dip and the chicken. I also grated enough cheese for both. I thought that was pretty efficient of me.
Digging out a bread pan to put the dip in, I remembered I had left my favorite bread pan at Mom and Dad’s house (where I had brought my spinach and artichoke dip for a gathering). It was originally her bread pan, so I guess I can’t feel too bad about it. Anyways, I have other bread pans. I ought to bake more bread, but that’s a whole other blog post.
I chopped up a jar of artichoke hearts then a yellow onion. I hadn’t put onion in the dip before, but it sounded good. I planned to put some in the chicken, too. Steven read somewhere that once you peel and chop an onion, you should use the whole thing right away, because onions become toxic if you save them. If that is truly the case, I probably ought to be dead by now. Just the same, I’ve been buying smaller onions lately.
Artichokes, spinach, garlic, onion and cheese in the pan, I added a couple spoonfuls of mayonnaise, stirred it good, and put in in an oven, which I had preheated to 350 degrees (I perhaps should have mentioned that at the beginning of the description, but I rather doubt any of my readers are cooking along with me as they read). We ate the dip with tortilla rounds. It was pretty good.
For the chicken I put the rest of the garlic and the rest of the onions in with the rest of the cheese and mixed it up. I took the chicken thighs and kind of spread them out. I can never make the pound them down thing work. I put the cheese mixture on along with some fresh mushroom slices I had. I folded the chicken over and rolled it in seasoned breadcrumbs as best as I could.
It was awkward. I dug around in the drawer for some toothpicks and made the resulting bundle as neat as I could. I put them in a pan and put the pan in the 350 degree oven. I baked them for about an hour, testing with a meat thermometer, because I didn’t want to cut them open and look for pink.
They tasted pretty good. I was halfway through mine before I realized I had left out the ham.