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Eat This While You Read That: Tom Knighton

By sheer coincidence, this post is coming out just at Tom announces his newest release, Bad Moon on the Rise, his third tale of post-apocalyptic America. I haven’t read this one yet, too busy cooking, but I will soon! If you haven’t had the pleasure of Tom’s writing, I will assure you that unlike most dystopian fiction, Tom’s books are stories of ordinary people plunged into bad situations, and making the best of it. His work is human wave, with a strong current of hope carrying his fiction along.

While you are prepping this delicious meal, take a minute to count your blessings… electricity, running water, and modern comforts. What happens if those are all gone?

after the blast

Chicken cordon bleu ala Knighton

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Good simple food…


  • 3 Large Chicken breasts (but this recipe scales pretty easily, all things considered)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 package of Panko
  • 6 slices of ham
  • 6 slices of swiss cheese
  • Salt
  • Toothpicks
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Dump the Panko into a gallon Ziploc bag. Add salt to taste (I usually guess, truth be told) and mix thoroughly.
  3. Crack and beat the egg in a bowl
  4. Take the three chicken breasts and cut them in half.
  5. Chicken breast

    Pounded out flat.

    With a meat mallet, beat the ever-loving snot out of the breast pieces until they are thinned out.

  6. chicken cordon bleu

    Prep station: chicken with ham and cheese, pank in a bag, and a bowl of egg.

    Flip the chicken over and lay one piece of ham, and one piece of cheese. Then, fold the breast in half and pin together with a tooth pick.

  7. Take each breast and dip into the egg, then into the Panko mixture. Be sure to completely coat the breast with Panko, then place in baking dish. Optional: Sprinkle some of the Panko on top after their in the dish.
  8. Bake at 425 until top is a dark golden brown.

Now, is this really Chicken cordon bleu?  Damned if I know.  I saw someone make this when I was a kid, so I make it this way and it’s a hit with my family.  We have a belief here in the Knighton household that melted cheese make almost anything taste luxurious, and this is a prime example for us. 

Cedar’s note: I’m honestly not sure, either, I have never eaten or made it before. Turned out pretty tasty, though, and the First Reader likes it, so we will make it again.

I apologize for not having specific times and such, but when I make up my own recipe, I have a hard time bothering to time how long things take.  Especially since I’m one of those intuitive cooks who seasons pretty much everything “to taste”, which I honestly believe is the culinary equivalent of “I don’t have a flipping clue how much I used”.

Cedar note: I baked the single breast, portioned into two pieces, for a total of 30 min at 425 deg F and it was perfectly done without being dry.

As for serving instructions, this is a good protein that seems to work with anything.  If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll serve with croissants and some kind of vegetable.

Cedar: I served it with steamed veg, herbed butter, and fresh croissant rolls. Note that if you have large chicken breasts, as I did, that 1/2 a breast fed two of us. In other words, if you do the full recipe you will have enough food to feed a small army – or at least a couple of hungry teenagers.

Chicken Dinner

Chicken Cordon Bleu


Herbed Garlicky Butter Spread

Herbed butter spread

Pulling the herb spread together in the food processor.

The First Reader joked that just steamed vegetables wasn’t fancy enough for this meal. Can you add some herbs to them? he asked.

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of chives, cut into small sections
  • Fresh oregano leaves (about 6-7)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese (fresh is better than the powder in a can)

In a food processor with a flat blade, chop the herbs, cheese, and garlic by pulsing several times. You could add different herbs to taste.  Slowly add the butter in small pieces through the portal, alternating with drizzles of olive oil. This came out very green, smooth, and tastes lovely on the vegetables and rolls.


About Cedar Sanderson

Writer, mother, reader, gardener, cook… artist.

One comment on “Eat This While You Read That: Tom Knighton

  1. Love the recipe but I also love the RC in the picture – people where I’m from think I’m crazy for loving that stuff over regular Pepsi or coca cola!


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