Crispy Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu (Lightened Up!)

Anything that has cheese and prosciutto in it is a winner in my book .  Anything that can be made in advance is an even bigger winner.  I love things that I can make earlier in the day or even the day before and then just pop in the oven or quickly sauté when ready.  This is a deliciously lightened up version of the French classic which is typically deep fried.  The French may be assholes but their food is nothing short of amazing. (I’m kidding relax.) However this is pan fried making it MUCH lighter but just as amazing.  I first made this years ago as….wait for it…as a WEIGHT WATCHERS Recipe.  Um, yeah.  Never expected it to be any good at all.  To this day it’s probably in one of my top 5 favorite chicken dishes.  Usually I make this earlier in the day and then just whip it up 15 minutes or so before we are ready to eat.  If you are trying to lose a few LB’s, this is a great dinner idea.  You can substitute regular swiss cheese for Jarlsberg which is what I usually do.  It’s seriously soooooooo good.  My husband hates swiss cheese but honestly loves this.  Enjoy 🙂

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In a shallow bowl, start with 1/3 cup of plain dried breadcrumbs.  In another bowl, whisk together 2 egg whites until soft peaks form.    
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Finely chop 1/3 cup of Flat Leaf Italian Parsley.
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Add the parsley to the breadcrumbs along with 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper.  Stir together.  
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Get 1 lb. of chicken breast (about 2 whole breasts) and slice in half.  Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and pound each piece until about 1/4 inch thick.  
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Like so! Make sure it’s large enough so that you can fold over.  
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Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper.
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Place 2 TBS of Flour in a shallow bowl.  
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Now it’s time to start a little assembly line!  
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Take a piece of proscuitto and lay it on top of the chicken.  Then cut a piece of swiss in half and lay it on top of the proscuitto.  Fold it over.  Carefully dip it in the egg whites until completely covered on all sides.  Then dip in the flour and coat all over as well.  
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Lastly, dip it into the breadcrumbs until coated all over really well.  Repeat the same steps with the remaining chicken.  
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Coat a non stick skillet with cooking spray.  Then add  1/2 TBS of unsalted butter and 1/2 TBS of olive oil.  (This is “lightened up” remember?” 
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Over medium high heat sauté the breasts until golden brown.  Flipping once in between.  Around 8 minutes.  THEN, very important…hold the breasts up with a pair of tongs to cook the bottom part that’s folded over.  
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There you have it! It’s sooooo delicious!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Lightened Up

Recipe:  

1pound(s)uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4-oz pieces

1⁄2 tspblack pepper, freshly ground
1⁄4 tsp table salt
3 oz Casa Italia Prosciutto, or other brand, very thinly sliced
2 oz low-fat Swiss cheese
1⁄3 cup(s)dried plain breadcrumbs, plain-variety
1⁄3 cup(s)fresh parsley, fresh, minced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 largeegg white(s)
2 spray(s)cooking spray
1⁄2 Tbspunsalted butter
1⁄2 Tbspolive oil
Instructions
Place chicken on a cutting board and put plastic wrap on top; using a rolling pin or meat pounder, pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.

Rub chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each pepper and salt. Evenly divide prosciutto and cheese over chicken; fold chicken in half to cover prosciutto and cheese and press down to hold shape.

In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parsley and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper & 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place flour on a plate. In another shallow bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form.

To coat chicken, dredge each piece of chicken in flour; turn to coat. Then dip each chicken breast in egg whites; turn to coat. Next, dredge chicken in bread crumb-mixture and press down to make sure all sides are covered. Repeat until all four chicken breasts are coated.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat; add butter and oil. When they begin to shimmer (about 1 or 2 minutes), place chicken in a single layer in skillet; cook, flipping once, until nicely browned and chicken is completely cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cook underside of chicken as well by holding with tongs.  Serve immediately. Yields 1 chicken breast per serving.

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