Easy Weeknight Chicken Cordon Bleu

This doesn't seem, at first glance, like it would be a weeknight-friendly recipe.  Rest assured, it is!  Although you dirty a few dishes in order to pull it all together, it's really quite simple.  And delicious!! 

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Recipe Source:  Adapted from a recipe by America’s Test Kitchen

8 thin slices deli-style ham
2 c shredded cheese (I use a monterey jack blend)
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
3 large eggs
2 T dijon mustard
2 c plain Panko bread crumbs
6 T unsalted butter, melted
1 c all-purpose flour

Top each ham slice with 1/4 cup cheese and roll tightly.  Set aside.  Cut a pocket in each chicken breast by cutting along one side.  Stuff each breast with 2 ham and cheese rolls.  Use toothpicks to hold breasts together if they don't stay on their own.  
Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper, place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Beat the eggs and mustard in a shallow bowl.  In a second bowl, combine the panko crumbs and butter until the crumbs are all wet.  Place the flour in a third shallow bowl.  With each chicken breast, dip lightly in the flour, then in the egg mixture, and then dredge in the crumbs (pressing to make it adhere).  Transfer chicken to baking sheet.

 Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, until golden brown and chicken registers 160 degrees.  Serve.

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