Be sure to check out my recipe below for Chicken Cordon Bleu!
I never in a million years thought when I was a kid, that I would grow up with a heart for rescue animals. I mean, I loved dogs and cats when I was younger, and had plenty of them on hand, but it wasn't until I was in my mid thirties that I really garnered a heart for animals that got left behind.
I'll never forget the day it started. My daughter and I found a dog just wandering the streets. He was the sweetest poodle you would ever meet. We played with him for a bit, gave him some food, and then walked up and down the street until we found his home.
His owner was not a nice man and we could tell the little dog was scared of the man. We told him how much we adored the poodle. The man, who was grumpy and gruff at the time, told us if the dog ran away again we could just have it.
A few days later, the man shows up at our door with the dog and told us we could have him. My daughter was OVER the moon for this little guy and we named him Puff. I wrote his whole story out here.
Kayla, age 10
Then, a little later down the road, my husband was working a job cutting down trees, and met a woman who was working 16+ hours a day in Nashville and needed someone to take her little guy in. He was only 6 months old at the time and the minute I laid eyes on him, I fell in love.
I also rescued a Corgi when he was a baby. No one wanted him because his ears laid flat, and if you know anything about corgis, their ears are supposed to stand tall.
My heart went out to him and so we purchased him and bought him home. We were told he would probably never be the kind of dog he was supposed to because of ears, but I did not care. I loved him regardless, and you know what? His ears perked right up within a couple of weeks of him coming to a home filled with love.
We thought that once we moved into our new home in a brand new city that our rescue days might be over. By this time, we had 3 dogs and if anyone knows anything about dogs is that they can be a handful when you have that many.
However, late one night, a beautiful chocolate lab found his way to our home. We talked to everyone in our area and they said that this particular dog just roamed the area, never settling down.
Well guess what? When he met our family, he settled right in and stayed with us until we moved. We named him Fred and he was the sweetest chocolate lab I think I had ever met.
And of course — who could not forget the amazing rescue of our cat Mittens. Her story is very unique (which I wrote about here). She has been one of the sweetest and most loveable cats I have ever seen.
As you can tell, I am an animal lover and a rescuer of precious pooches and curious cats! That is why I always said I wanted to work with companies that had my babies best interest at heart — which is why I love Rachael Ray Nutrish for Pets Cat Food and Dog Food.
The recipe used to create these are based on real ingredients — like chicken, veggies, brown rice, fish, salmon, and not nasty by products as a filler. In fact, the Chef Tails website has some delicious recipes paired that will afford both you and your pet a scrumptious dinner!
For Rachael, food equals love — whether she's cooking a meal for friends or working with pet nutrition experts to create delicious recipes for your furry companions. She also believes that everyone — even your dog or cat — should be able to enjoy meals made with simple natural ingredients like real meat and wholesome veggies.
My Flavorful Chicken Cordon Bleu
Because of the Chicken and Veggies recipe for both Tucker and Mittens (which just happen to be their favorite by the way), I decided to create a yummy dinner of my own — inspired by the Chef Tail recipes that you can find here.
For the chicken cordon:
- 3 large, thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise and then flattened to make 6 boneless cutlets
- 12 slices black forest ham
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 pound 8 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese
For the Parmesan Cream Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon crushed)
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- Spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine the fresh ground bread crumbs(which can be done with day old bread and a food processor) and melted butter. Set aside.
- Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the 9X13-inch dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham and top with slices of Swiss cheese, layering across the chicken breast to make sure the entire chicken breast is covered with ham and cheese.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
- Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, and the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden.
- When the chicken is almost done, in a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter.
- Stir in the flour, whisking constantly. Cook the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules and salt.
- Whisk mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes.
- Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese.
- Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking. If your sauce is too thick, whisk in some more milk. If it's too thin, simmer longer.
- Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with warm sauce.
Now it's your turn!
Now the fun part — you can participate in the Rachael Ray Nutrish sweepstakes and possibly win a trip to New York!
All you have to do is cook one of the Nutrish Chef Tails recipes, or one of your own, and share a Nutrish product with your pet (they have it for both cats and dogs).
Share a photo of you and your pet enjoying mealtime and hashtag it #ChefTails on Instagram or Twitter. And be entered for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to New York City to be in the studio audience of the Rachael Ray Show.