Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hammy Jammy Chicken

Before I post a recipe, I always ask my husband if it is "blog-worthy", all the recipes you see on this blog have been deemed "worthy" in my husband's eyes. Of course, there are some dishes that we find especially worthy, and this Hammy Jammy Chicken is definitely that! As you know from past blogs, I am not a huge meat-lover, but, if you saw the way I devoured this dinner tonight you would have never guessed it! I think it was the ham, cooked up nice and crispy...or maybe is with the jam and shredded gruyere...or it most definitely could have been the side salad with the homemade dressing! All in all, five stars! Make this one for sure!

3 Tbl preserves (I used strawberry...but, you could also use fig or apricot)
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 c. shredded gruyere cheese
4-6 thin slices of ham
4 Tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbl butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbl red wine vinegar
4 cups of romaine, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 Tbl sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 400F

Mix the preserves, thyme and salt & pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Melt 1 Tbl olive oil in a medium sized non-stick skillet on medium-low heat. Saute minced shallots for three minutes. Place shallots from skillet in a new small sized bowl (leave as much of the oil in the pan as you can). Return the skillet to the stove (you will use this same skillet to cook the chicken in). To make the salad dressing, combine the cooked shallot with 1 Tbl of the preserves mixture, Dijon, red wine vinegar and remaining 3 Tbl olive oil. Use a fork to mix well and set dressing aside.

Place both chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag and gently pound the chicken with a meat mallet. Overlap two pieces of ham on a cutting board (you will be wrapping the chicken breasts with the ham) and place a chicken breast on top. Repeat for the second breast. Spread 1 Tbl of the preserve mixture on the top of each chicken breast. Top each breast with 1/4 c. shredded gruyere. Wrap the chicken with the ham. If the ham slices do not touch, place a third slice on the top to cover the cheese.

Put butter in the same skillet you sauteed the shallots in. Turn heat to medium. Once butter starts to froth a bit and skillet is hot, use tongs to VERY carefully place wrapped chicken breasts in the skillet, cheese side up. Cook the bottom side only for 4 minutes.

Use tongs to VERY carefully transfer each chicken breast into a square baking dish. Pour the pan drippings right on top of the chicken breasts. Bake chicken in the oven for 17-20 minutes until cheese is fully melted and the ham looks browned and crispy.

Prepare the salad while the chicken is baking. Toss chopped lettuce, tomatoes & sliced almonds in a salad bowl and drizzle with dressing (you will not use all of the dressing- save the rest of it for another salad at a later date).

Plate the cooked chicken and dressed salad side by side on a plate. Try eating the chicken and salad together in one forkful- they taste great combined! Serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!

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