So last Friday night my Husband and his friends had a little get together. Earlier in the week (like an idiot) I had offered to make a dish for it. Come Thursday, I was so tired I was praying that he had forgotten my offer - he didn't (note to self: shut your damn mouth!). So, there I was Thursday afternoon, trying to come up with something that would be fairly easy and inexpensive to make yet not run of the mill - baked ziti was not even being considered! Now, I knew I had chicken thighs in the freezer that I had bought on sale just for these sorts of things so I knew it had to be chicken something or other. What I came up with was Chicken Cordon Bleu Stuffed Shells. The dish came together remarkable easily and made enough to feed a crowd (not a huge crowd but a good number of people). The results got glowing reviews and they disappeared before I could take a picture. I call that a success! Here is the drill:
Chicken Cordon Bleu Stuffed Shells
16 oz Swiss
cheese slices- divided
10 oz ham
steaks (I used 4 sandwich sized ones) – chopped fine
container cottage cheese (I used the smallest individual container they had at
the store – just estimating the size here but you could use more or none at all
if you wanted to)
1 box Jumbo
cream of chicken soup
2 TBS Dijon
mustard - divided
thighs in water for an hour or until tender and easily separated from bones.
Remove from water and let cool. Add shells to chicken stock. When chicken is
cool enough to handle remove skin, fat and bones and chop meat roughly. Add to
a large mixing bowl. Finely dice half of the cheese and add to chicken.
Add ham, 1 TBS of mustard and cottage cheese. Add a tsp each salt and pepper
and mix everything to combine. This is your filling.
cooked (Pliable but still al dente) remove shells from broth using a slotted
spoon and let drain. Add soup to chicken/pasta water and 1 TBS mustard and stir
until smooth. Coat bottom of roasting pan with soup. Stuff shells with filling
and arrange in pan. Pour remaining soup over shells and top with remaining Swiss cheese. Bake 350 for 30 minutes (covered), then remove cover and bake an
additional 15 minutes.
Now, as I previously stated, I was tired and in a rush when making these so I opted to use canned soup for the sauce. You could certainly make a lovely Swiss cheese based cream sauce from scratch if you have the time and energy - I won't discourage you.