Prep 45 mins
Cook 45 mins
Chef Pierre Franey: This dish, like so many I have created over the years, came about by accident. One day while cooking with Craig Claiborne, I asked our kitchen assistant to hand me some cheese, thinking we had some Gruyere. Instead, he handed me a quarter pound of blue cheese. My first reaction was negative, but on second thought I said, "Why not?" I was very pleased with the result.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- salt, to taste if desired (optional)
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1⁄2 cup canned chicken broth
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄4 lb blue cheese
- 4 slices of thinly sliced cooked ham (about 1/4 pound)
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
- Sprinkle the breast halves with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the chicken in one layer over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown lightly on one side. Turn and continue cooking about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the pieces and keep warm.
- Meanwhile. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and add the flour, stirring rapidly with a wire whisk. Add the broth and milk, and continue stirring rapidly. Add the cream and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted.
- Add the ham slices to the skillet in which the chicken pieces cooked and saute briefly on both sides just enough to heat through. Transfer the slices to a heated serving dish and cover each slice with a piece of chicken breast.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stiffing until wilted. Add the wine and stir to dissolve the brown particles that cling to the bottom and sides of the skillet. Stir in the cheese sauce.
- Place a sieve over a small saucepan and strain the sauce, stirring and pushing down with a plastic spatula to press through as much of it as possible. There should be about 1 1/3 cups of sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces and serve hot.