Chicken Cordon Something on the fly… inspirations from last weekend at the lake.

My whole family loves spending as much time as possible at Smith Mountain Lake in the summer.  We swim, boat, sleep, play cards, read, gossip and of course we EAT like there’s no tomorrow.  The lake is a great place to test out my latest culinary creations because I have a captive, hungry audience and most of what I make is at least better than the food at the Dairy Queen down the road.  I cook for the hubby, the kids, the in-laws, the rents, the sibs, the dog, some of the neighbors and occasionally the random strangers in the nearest boat.   My mom and sisters take their turn at the stove too.  My van is usually running over with twice as many groceries as suitcases.  However, this past weekend was probably the last weekend at the lake for a while so I was trying to use up what food we had and not go out and buy a lot of extra groceries.  By Labor Day Monday, the cupboards were pretty bare.  So, like the enterprising family that we are, we pooled our resources to make the final dinner.    Turned out pretty good.  Here’s what happened.

Chicken Cordon Something

-I took the last of my Sister’s boneless chicken breasts and pounded them thin between plastic wrap. I didn’t have a mallet, but a heavy ice cream scoop worked just fine.
-Applied salt, pepper, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and onion powder to both sides of chicken.  You can use whatever spice/herb mix you like.
-Collected everyone’s leftover lunch meat and layered the meat on the chicken.
-Layered slices of leftover cheese (swiss slices, grated Italian blend and what I think was shredded cheddar)  Didn’t really try to make them all the same.. the chicken pieces just got what they got.
-Rolled up the chicken pieces and secured with a toothpick
-Coated each piece in a mixture of grated Parmesan cheese, club cracker crumbs, and seasoned salt.  I used the club crackers because THAT’S ALL I HAD  and they were starting to go stale.
-Drizzled a tiny bit of butter on top for some moisture and baked at 350 for 17 minutes or so until internal temp was 165 degrees.  It’s a good idea to remove the toothpicks halfway through the cooking time.

We ate it just like this with some leftover green beans and pasta salad but a white wine cream sauce or a mushroom sauce would be a nice accompaniment.

This turned out to be one of the best meals of the weekend.  I think the key to making this approach work for you is to consider the protein ingredients you have, think of a dish you like that includes that protein and then look around your kitchen for similar items.  Don’t be afraid to improvise!  Leftover lunch meat may be the sleeping star of your next dinner, too.

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