A savory trio: chicken, ham and cheese

June 27, 2007|By Robin Mather Jenkins | Robin Mather Jenkins,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

The first time I encountered the savory pleasures of chicken breast, ham and cheese was at my high school's honor society dinner in 1972: Chicken Cordon Bleu. It seemed so exotic: chicken pounded thin, stuffed with ham and Swiss cheese, then breaded and deep-fried. Then again, I was only 17.

These days, I still like the combination of lean chicken breast, salty ham and creamy cheese. But I'm just as likely to use prosciutto and the creamy Italian cheese Taleggio, as this recipe does, and I wouldn't even dream of breading and deep-frying. That's just too much trouble on a weeknight.

Robin Mather Jenkins writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Menu

Chicken With Prosciutto and Taleggio

Instant brown rice

Baby spinach salad with poppy-seed dressing

Mixed fruit compote

Chicken With Prosciutto and Taleggio

Serves 4 -- Total time: 40 minutes

4 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves

1/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

4 ounces Taleggio cheese, cut into 4 slices

8 slices prosciutto or ham

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 11-inch-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 -inch thick. Season chicken all over with the salt and pepper to taste. Place 1 slice of the cheese and 2 slices of the prosciutto on bottom half of each chicken breast; fold top half over to cover cheese and prosciutto.

Place chicken breasts in baking dish; top with bread crumbs. Bake until chicken is no longer pink and cheese has melted, 30 to 35 minutes.

Per serving: 328 calories, 14 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 115 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams carbohydrate, 39 grams protein, 968 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber

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