Regally Roasted Zucchini Stuffed With Chicken Cordon Bleu

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

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Elegance is easy to come by.  Elegance is presenting a typical dish in a unique way, neatly on a plate.  Elegance is an experience, where just a few ingredients are transformed into a culinary masterpiece.  Elegance is simple.

Ingredients

  • 2 Large, Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Large Zucchini or Yellow Squash (whichever is your preference)
  • 1 Ham Steak, Cut Into Small Cubes
  • 1/3 Cup Swiss Cheese, Grated Medium
  • 1/4 Cup Whole Grain Mustard
  • 8 Tbs. ( 1 Stick)  Butter, Salted
  • 1 Tbs. Cracked, Assorted Pepper Corns
  • 1 Large Stem of Rosemary (Do Not Remove the Leaves)

Steps

  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry your zucchini well.  With a potato peeler, peel each zucchini into ribbons.  Place on a small plate that is lined with a paper towel and set to the side.  Tip:  Creating ribbons from zucchini, or any squash for that matter, is quite simple.  Hold the squash in your left hand and shave your ribbons off with a single, smooth motion.   Just be careful, as you get close to being done with each squash as to not cut yourself.
  3. Take your ham steak and rinse it in cold water.  Then, pat dry your ham steak to remove excess moisture from the outside.  Dice your ham steak into small cubes.
  4. In a medium skillet, melt 2 tbs. of butter over high heat.  Add your cubed ham steak and fry, stirring constantly, until you see the edges turning a golden brown and begin to get crispy.  Remove from the heat and add to a small / medium mixing bowl.  Let sit for a few minutes to cool down to room temperature.
  5. Into your mixing bowl, add your grated Swiss cheese and whole grain mustard.  Using a fork, mix together until the ham chunks are all coated with the mustard and the cheese is evenly incorporated.
  6. Rinse your chicken breast off with cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel.  Tip:  You should ALWAYS rinse poultry before preparing and cooking it.  For one thing, it removes that film of slimy moisture typically found on chicken.  Secondly, it lessens the chance of salmonella contamination when you place it on the cutting board.
  7. Cut your chicken breasts in half, length ways, so that you have 4 thinner pieces and place off to the side on a plate momentarily.
  8. Clean your cutting board well with antibacterial soap.  Then take a large piece of cling wrap and place it on the cutting board.  Place one of your pieces of chicken breast onto the cling wrap and fold the excess cling wrap over the top of the chicken breast.  Gently smooth out the cling wrap.  With a rolling pin, pound out the chicken breast until it is about 2/3rds the original thickness.  Do this with all 4 chicken breasts.  Throw away the cling wrap.
  9. Take your chicken breast and place 1/4 of the ham mixture onto the center of the breast, gently pat down the ham mixture.  Fold the excess chicken over the ham, cheese and mustard mixture until it is completely covered.  I typically try to make it into a circular shape as I fold excess chicken over.
  10. Take ribbons of your zucchini and wrap the stuffed chicken.  It will take a few ribbons to completely cover each one.  Sprinkle with the cracked, assorted pepper corns.  Ad a small slice of butter on to the top of each wrapped chicken breast.
  11. Place onto a greased baking sheet.  Roast on the center rack for about 20 minutes, until you start to see cheese oozing out of the cracks and the zucchini is browning on top and bottom.
  12. While the stuffed chicken is roasting, in a small skillet add 4 tbs. salted butter and the rosemary (leaves still on the stem).  Melt your butter over medium-high heat until it is a medium brown color.  Pick out the Rosemary and discard.  Add 1 tbs. of assorted cracked pepper corns.  Remove from heat.
  13. When plating, make sure that the top of your wrapped and stuffed chicken is facing up and the crispier bottom is below.  Spoon the brown butter sauce over the top.
  14. Serve and enjoy!
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