Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole - Variations

Above's the finished product -- below is how it looked before going into the oven:

I wanted something different, lighter than enchiladas or lasagna, though they are always good crowd pleasers. Cordon Bleu fits that with a blend of meats, cheese and creamy sauce. However, pounding a sufficient supply of chicken breasts and rolling them up for individual servings didn't seem to fit either.  So I went looking for - and found - a Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole recipe. Several, in fact, and I settled on one.

OK, here's the as it was written - but not as I fixed it:
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
1 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1 cup oil for frying
8 ounces Swiss cheese, cubed
8 ounces cubed ham
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Beat egg and 1/2 cup milk together until combined.
Stir in the chicken chunks to coat, then drain, and coat with bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a large skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Fry breaded chicken cubes in hot oil until golden brown on all sides, then remove, and drain on paper towels.
Place chicken cubes in a glass baking dish, along with the Swiss cheese, and ham.
Stir together the soup with 1 cup milk, pour over casserole.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Sounds good, doesn't it.  Well, I don't know because I made some changes:

1 - I didn't bread the chicken - stir fried it in a hot skillet with only a touch of vegetable oil. That was a suggestion from a reviewer and it worked well. Another suggestion was to use frozen breaded nuggets.  I didn't find that fresh enough for my purposes.
2 - I didn't use ham cubes -- I bought thinly sliced deli honey ham slices, rolled them up and cut into strips, then folded into the chicken and Swiss cheese cubes.
3 - I didn't use one cup of milk with the soup, again based on reviews.  I used half a cup milk and half a cup of sour cream, mixed well with the soup.  It does go on fairly thick, so be certain it's spread across the top.  It did keep the casserole from being too soupy, too thin. This was suggested by several reviewers. It wasn't too thin, but I think I would want a bit more sauce in the future.  Have to work on that.
4 - I did add a sprinkle of wheat bread crumbs on the top - not too thick, but enough to give the correct suggestion.

It is a keeper!  It is lighter, not as spicy as our regular Italian or Mexican dishes, but creamy, rich and tasty. Serve with fruit and salad, complete meal. Oh, yes - throw in a dessert! We ended ours with an Oreo crust cheesecake with blueberries on top. Yummy, but I don't have that recipe, but I'm asking Kate for  it!!

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