If you ask my hubby about the best day of his life, he will either tell you it was the day baby P was born or our wedding day. I now know that he will be lying, because as much as it pains him to admit it, the best day of his life was in fact today, when I successfully came up with a copy-cat recipe of his favorite dish from one of our favorite restaurants (haha kidding of course, nothing trumps baby P). The idea for this dish came about on our recent trip home when J and I were able to have our first actual date night since baby P was born (a whole nine months ago, eek, needless to say not living near family can suck for various reasons, a big one being no free babysitters lol). We went to one of our favorite Italian restaurants, La Volpe , not only because we love it but because it is about four miles from my mom’s house and is about the only fine dining option the Moriches have to offer, lol. Now as much as I love a good date night or simply dining out in general, I still think it is ridiculous to spend close to $100.00 for two people to have a meal. Even without drinks, our bill still would have come in at around $50.00 for two main courses, no appetizers – crazy! However, no matter how overpriced the meal my hubby waits all year round for our trip home so he can order the “Chicken Dijonnaise”, which even frugal J will pay $25.00 for, haha. This time as we were enjoying our meal I told J that in the interest of not having to wait all year round for it, I would attempt to make it myself.
Since we rolled right into another vacation (4th of July) upon our return home, I decided as usual, to make the hubs a nice dinner to celebrate his impending four days off but this time I would make it extra special and try to duplicate the “chicken dijonniase”. Additionally, his four day weekends are the best time to try out new recipes anyway since I’ll get lots of alone time in the kitchen, although I do love my squishy baby looking on, he can get a little impatient if a recipe is taking too long lol. So here you have it, recipe numero uno for our 4th of July weekend (and if we lose power due to hurricane Arthur it may be the only one I get to post, who knows haha), a delicious chicken dish, an Italian “chicken cordon bleu”, if you will. Since the recipe was such a success I’m sure this will be a very frequent request in our household from now on, nothing like some restaurant quality food at a homemade price 🙂
ITALIAN CHICKEN DIJONNAISE
NOTE: Sorry for my lack of step-by-step pictures, I was doing the prepping while J was still at work so I was working as fast as I could and trying to entertain/avoid getting chicken juice on my squishy baby lol. Next time I make this dish, which I’m sure will be very soon, I will update pictures 🙂
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups bread crumbs (I used Italian Seasoned but I may try again using panko, check back for an update!)
- 3 eggs
- 8 thin slices of mozzarella cheese or 1 1/2 cups grated
- 8 thin slices of ham
- 8 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Salt and Pepper
- Italian Seasoning (I happened to have it on hand, if you do not just substitute a little dried basil and oregano)
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil for frying
Step 1: Take your chicken breasts and butterfly them by taking a knife, inserting it into the side of the breast and slicing it in half almost all the way through (as if you were cutting a sandwich roll) making sure to leave it attached along one edge. You should be able to open it like a book.
Step 2: Open each of your chicken breasts (like a book).place them between two pieces of clear plastic wrap and use a meat tenderizer to pound your pieces to about 1/2 an inch or so of thickness (don’t get too violent lol, you want them to remain attached). Once you have achieved your desired thickness, season each piece generously with salt and pepper on either side.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Then working one at a time open each of your chicken breasts and layer two pieces of basil, two pieces of mozzarella and two pieces of ham in each, then close so the contents are sandwiched between the two halves of the breast.
Step 4: In three separate dishes place flour, eggs (beaten) and bread crumbs. Taking one chicken breast holding firmly closed so that the contents do not fall out, place first in the flour dish, coating on both sides. Then dip carefully in the egg mixture and finally the bread crumbs (again, be careful not to allow your contents to fall out!). Place on a platter or dish until ready to cook.
Step 5: In a large skillet or pan (I used a cast iron skillet) suitable for the oven, heat your oil. Once oil has come to temp, place each of your chicken breasts in the oil (I placed them upside down so that when I flipped them and placed in the oven they would be right-side up for the remainder of the cooking time, although this does not matter) and cook until browned on both sides. *If you don’t have a pan big enough to fit all four breasts just cook them in batches and place them on a baking sheet for the oven portion of the cooking, as cooking them in the same pan is simply to create less dishes (I hate dishes lol).
Step 6: Once you have finished browning all of your breasts, move the pan to the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes (this may vary depending on the thickness of your breasts, mine cooked for 25 minutes and were cooked perfectly, if yours seem thinner than mine you may want to adjust time time down a bit). If you feel that there is too much oil remaining in the pan after frying you can drain some out before transferring to the oven or simply move the breasts to a baking sheet and cook them off on that. While chicken is cooking prepare dijonnaise sauce (recipe below).
Step 7: After your chicken breasts have finished cooking remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Pour dijonnaise sauce over each breast and enjoy!!!
*If you do not want to make your own sauce, Hellman’s makes a “Dijonnaise” ready-made and available in the condiment section of most grocery stores, I would just add a little milk or mayo to it as it is on the thicker side.
- 4 Tbsp. Mayo
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Stone Ground Mustard (this is simply to add a grainier texture to the sauce, if you do not have stone ground mustard or want a smoother sauce just use dijon instead).
- 1 Tbsp. Sour Cream (this can be omitted if you wish, I just added it because I had it on hand)
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup whole milk
Whisk all ingredients together. If the sauce is too thick add a little more milk or if you feel it is too fluid or wish to use it as a dipping sauce add a little more mayo and mustard. Serve atop the chicken or use as a dipping sauce!