The translation of the French term “Cordon Bleu” is “blue ribbon” — something special and of top quality. The blue-ribbon method for Chicken Cordon Bleu (although Veal Cordon Bleu is more traditional), calls for a chicken cutlet , pounded very thin and wrapped around a thin slice of ham or prosciutto, a thin slice of Swiss Cheese, and then breaded and pan fried in butter or oil.
This combination of flavors is a winner indeed, but this dish can be a calorie power-house. Fortunately, this is an easy dish to adapt to a healthier lifestyle, and Biggest Loser Resorts have done so, in their Biggest Loser Cookbook collection.
While the Biggest Loser recipe called for 2 oz of nitrate-free ham and 1 oz of low fat Swiss Cheese (as pictured), we much preferred a thin slice of quality prosciutto as part of our filling, and, while cheese can and often is our calorie nemesis, we just don’t like reduced calorie or “lite” cheeses (*with one exception, see notes).
For that reason, we appreciate the ultra thin slices of cheese offered by Sargento. By slicing regular calorie cheese into ultra thin portions, Sargento gives us the flavor without the guilt — just 40 calories per slice, and so delicate we call it “cheese paper.” This permits us to be angelic when we use one slice, or indulgent we fan several slices while still keeping the calorie content lower than average.
Likewise, for the prosciutto, it’s just 20 calories for a delicate slice and cooks so quickly, with such great flavor, that you can easily substitute it for bacon on your morning breakfast plate, in a sandwich, soup, or with cheese.
- 2 (4-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
- Olive oil spray (propellant free)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Garlic powder, to taste
- 2-4 slices of prosciutto
- 2-4 slices of ultra thin Sargento Swiss Cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves, or more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Lightly mist the chicken with olive oil spray on both sides.
- Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Place a medium ovenproof, nonstick skillet over high heat.
- When it’s hot, lightly mist it with the spray and add the chicken.
- Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on the outside.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Top each chicken breast with 1-2 slices of prosciutto.
- Top each chicken breast with 1-2 slices of ultra thin Swiss Cheese.
- Arrange both to assure they do not lap over into the plan.
- Sprinkle each portion evenly with the thyme.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside.
- NBC’s Biggest Loser program is conducted at Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge, Utah
- Find additional Weight Loss Retreats on Spa Index
*The only “lite” version of cheese we like (actually LIKE) are Sargento Lite String Cheese snacks. We’ve done away with those flaccid, soft, flavorless string cheese sticks you see in the grocery store. These snacks are firm, actually separate into strings as they are supposed to, are pleasantly tangy, and only 50 Calories each.