Light Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Dijon Sauce
Ingredients1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp. water
2 cups fat-free seasoned herb or garlic salad croutons
2 tbsp. shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp. dried or fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp. granulated garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
non-aerosol olive oil or other cooking spray
four 4 to 5-oz. or two 8 to 10-oz., boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 oz. reduced-fat Swiss cheese, divided into 4 slices (3 to 4 grams fat per 1-oz serving)
4 oz. 96 to 98% fat-free, Black Forest ham, thinly sliced
¼ tsp. salt, divided into four portions if using natural or organic chicken breasts
Honey Dijon Cream Sauce
½ cup fat-free half-and-half
½ cup water mixed with 1 tsp. low-sodium chicken soup base
2 tbsp. unbleached flour
¼ cup honey Dijon mustard
2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Use the convection setting, if available (this is optional). Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place an oven-safe rectangular crisscrossed cooling rack inside the sheet, spray the top of rack with cooking spray and set aside.
3. Lay each breast, top side up, between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound into ¼-inch thick rectangles. Larger breasts can be pounded out and cut in half. Repeat process until all breasts have been pounded out.
4. Flip each breast over and remove top sheet of wrap. Lightly sprinkle breast with salt if using natural or organic chicken and top with ham and cheese slice(s). Starting at the end closest to you, firmly roll up jellyroll style using the bottom sheet of plastic to wrap the breast. Twist ends of plastic wrap to close and set aside. Repeat process with remaining breasts.
5. Remove plastic wrap, dip breasts in egg and cover in breading. Place seam-side down on rack, spraying tops lightly with cooking spray. If using convection, bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until chicken is tender and breading has browned. if using, a regular oven setting, bake 25 to 30 minutes.
6. While chicken is baking, pour fat-free half-and-half and ½ cup water into a small saucepan. One tablespoon of flour at a time, whisk briskly into liquid until blended.
7. Whisking constantly, add soup base and bring mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in honey mustard until blended. Remove from heat or reduce heat to warm until ready to serve. If sauce seems too thick, whisk in a little half-half.
8. Remove chicken from oven and cut each breast into pinwheels or place whole on a plate and top with ¼ cup sauce and serve. If desired, sauce can be served in a small dish on the side.
NutritionNutrition Information: (breast with ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. sauce) 355 calories; 7g fat; 21g carbohydrate; 0g fiber; 44g protein; 140mg cholesterol; Sodium 1000mg
Traditional Nutrition Information: (breast with ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. sauce) 650 calories; 40g fat; 33g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 241mg cholesterol; 1363mg sodium
Why Light Chicken Cordon Bleu with Honey Dijon Sauce is Healthier than the Traditional Recipe?
1. This recipe employees a technique that creates baked foods that taste fried, making them lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories.
The food is dipped in egg and bread crumbs and placed on an oven-safe cooling rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray. The food is then baked using a convection oven setting which further increases the browning and crisping process. However, a convection is not necessary to the recipe’s success.
The rack raises the food off the bottom of the baking sheet, allowing hot air to circulate around the food causing the breading to become nice and crispy. Also, because the food is not laying on a flat sheet the bottom of the breading doesn’t become soggy.
2. The breading for the chicken is made with fat-free toasted croutons rather than buttered bread crumbs.
3. The recipe uses a natural 98% fat-free Black Forest ham that contains no nitrates.
4. The recipe also uses 50% less fat Swiss cheese rather than regular Swiss cheese.
5. The Honey Dijon Sauce is made with fat-free half-and-half rather than regular and low-sodium chicken stock. A “slurry” is used to thicken the sauce (starch whisked into liquid before it’s heated) rather than a flour and butter roux and no butter or other fats are added.