But a recipe from the polish side of my heritage has invaded French territory in the kitchen.
This recipe is a family secret. Read in a magazine (correct me if I'm wrong padre) by my father, and passed down one whole generation to little ol' me. This might actually be the oldest recipe in the family (which is to say that I remember eating it when I was a kid). Prodigious indeed.
It is a take on Chicken Cordon Bleu. Most preparations of this dish involve breading and either baking or frying, and this is where our recipe differs. No breading. No baking or frying. Instead we boil it.... in wine!!!
Caution to those with heart problems: Don't make this dish, as it will almost definitely clog your arteries beyond repair. You might want to skip even reading the post.
Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Mashed Potatoes:
What you will need to make the dish:
- 3 or 4 chicken breasts
- Sliced cheese, lots of it. I used provolone and monty jack, but swiss would also go really well
- Ham (black forest, or honey) 9-12 slices
- 1 bottle of cheap white wine (yeah I accidentally bought red, but you should buy white zinfandel.)
- 1 small onion (or 3-4 shallots preferably, but I didn't have any on hand)
- 5-10 white mushrooms
- Fresh garlic (I used about 10 cloves, but I am a garlic-whore)
- Salt, pepper, some basil
- 6-7 small potatoes
- bread of some sort (yes it's required)
How to make it:
- Mince your garlic and set aside
- Slice your onions and mushrooms really thin
- Get a (big-ass) pan pre-heating for the onions on medium, and get some water boiling for the potatoes.
- Trim the fat from your chicken breasts (or pay more for already-trimmed breasts), and pound it out to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thickness. Have some fun with it, pretend it is the face of your boss, or ex-wife!
- Apply a coating of minced garlic on top of the chicken. If you aren't a big garlic fan, don't use much as it still has a lot of flavor at the end of cooking:
- Now stack some slices of cheese on top. I used 2 slices of monty-jack and one (big slice) of provolone per breast.
- Throw 3-4 slices of ham on top of the cheese
- Get some toothpicks ready, and meditate. Pray for positive rolling goodness, because it invariably turns into a fuster-cluck.
- Attempt to roll chicken into one huge mound of debauchery. Once the chicken is overlapping, shove your toothpicks in to keep it in place:
- Now throw your onions into the pre-heated pan with a little bit of oil. Cook on medium until translucent. It is pretty important that you cook these all the way, otherwise the texture will be too crisp at the end.
- Once they are done, put a whole bottle of wine (minus a glass for the chef or course!) in the pan. Place your chicken in the pan, and toss your mushrooms in.
- Place a quarter piece of cheese on top of each chicken, and spoon a little sauce over the breasts. Turn heat to medium-high and cover.
- Cut up your potatoes and drop them in the now-boiling water with some fresh garlic.
- After about 10 minutes flip your chicken, and add another quarter piece of cheese to each mound.
- Once the potatoes are done, throw them in the strainer for a few minutes (Yes, a few minutes. Let as much water evaporate off of them as possible before mashing, and you will get much creamier 'taters).
- Flip chicken again and add another quarter piece of cheese
- After a total of 25-30 minutes of cooking your chicken should be good to go, so pull them out of the sauce and tent with some foil (live dangerously, add more cheese to the top). Turn the wine-concoction onto high-heat and allow to reduce down.
- Mash your taters with the usual milk, butter, and salt. Plus throw in some fresh garlic, basil, and a healthy amount of black pepper.
- Butter your bread and throw under the broiler for a short time to melt the butter. If your potatoes are getting cold, stick them under the broiler too.
- Now dip at least one hunk of bread into the sauce and enjoy the yumminess that is wine and bread.
After your sauce is reduced, plate everything up. Then cut into your hunk-o-cholesterol and bear sweet witness to the magic of oozy cheese!:
Notes: Yes, I bought regular Zinfandel wine instead of White Zinfandel. Why? Because I don't like paying attention while shopping. The white is better, as it imparts more sweetness to the sauce, and makes the chicken juicier (something about alcohol content, blah blah blah).
Edit: I just found a picture of the last time I made it, with the correct wine: