Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Great Unknown

We all strive to be comfortable in our own lives. We work hard for things that make us feel secure, successful, strong. Sometimes, we succeed; sometimes, we settle. There isn't anything wrong with knowing what works for you and being happy where you are. But, there is also nothing wrong with looking into the great unknown and trying new things that might challenge you and make you even happier. Sometimes, we do this on our own; sometimes, we need a push.

I was pushed...into a recipe that I had never prepared, and I am glad. It's success, in a way, gave me a confidence boost and made me feel stronger in my abilities to deal with the unknown. It all happened by chance, and I think that is the best way to discover new things, especially about yourself.

I was visiting a friend for a few days and volunteered to help with some of the meals. While my Blueberry Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes were at the top of the list of requests, I was also hit with a desire for Chicken Cordon Bleu. What? I had never prepared Chicken Cordon Bleu before and had honestly considered that it was just something that was served at overpriced per plate banquets benefiting good causes. But, I was game for the unknown; I was up to the challenge.

You know what? I succeeded. The recipe couldn't be more straight forwardly simple. Even in an unfamiliar kitchen with limited equipment, dinner was a ravishing success. Everyone was happy, and a day later, even the leftovers were devoured. I don't think that there is higher approval than that. I have to say that the great unknown isn't a worry with Chicken Cordon Bleu On My Plate.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

6 chicken breasts
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whipping cream

Pound chicken breasts if they're too thick.
Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 in. of edge.
Fold edges of chicken over filling and secure with tooth picks.
Mix flour and paprika and coat chicken.
Heat butter in skillet and cook chicken until browned on all sides.
Add wine and bouillon.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
Remove tooth picks and transfer breasts to warm platter.
Blend cornstarch with cream and whisk slowly into skillet.
Cook, stirring until thickened and pour over chicken. (Serves 6)

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