Chicken Cordon Bleu

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Cordon Bleu was one of my favorite dishes as a kid. I hadn’t eaten it for years, but when I was thinking about what to do with the organic chicken breast I had left from the whole chicken I had used to make brodo for tortellini, I decided it would be nice to make cordon bleu again. It can’t be a surprise that cordon bleu is really good if made from scratch with good chicken, good ham, and good cheese. It is quite different from something store-bought where the ham, cheese, and chicken are probably all of the ‘processed’ variety.

Cordon Bleu is a Swiss dish, according to legend invented by a ship’s chef in 1933 to celebrate the fastest crossing of the Atlantic. The captain of the ship “Bremen” had just received a “cordon bleu” (French for “blue ribbon”) for this achievement. The famous cooking school “Cordon Bleu” also refers to a blue ribbon, worn by knights of the highest distinction.

Cordon Bleu can be made with veal, chicken, pork, or even turkey. I liked it a lot and will definitely be making this more often.

Ingredients

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For 2 servings

2 single chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

2 slices of ham

2 slices of good cheese that melts well, such as gruyère, comté

salt and freshly ground white pepper

1 egg

breadcrumbs

clarified butter or oil

Preparation

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Cut a ‘pocket’ into each chicken breast with a sharp knife.

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Make the pocket as deep as possible without puncturing the meat.

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Put ham in the pockets.

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Put cheese in the pockets as well.

You could wrap the ham around the cheese to prevent the cheese from leaking, but I didn’t bother.

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Close the chicken breasts with tooth picks.

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Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper on both sides.

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Beat the egg and put it on a plate. Spread out a layer of bread crumbs on another plate. Coat each cordon bleu first in beaten egg and then in breadcrumbs, pressing down on the breadcrumbs to help them stick.

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Let the cordon bleus dry for about 10 minutes, turning them halfway.

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Pan-fry in clarified butter or oil in a non-stick frying pan.

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Fry about 4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness), or until golden and just cooked through.

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Serve at once on warm plates.

11 thoughts on “Chicken Cordon Bleu

  1. Nicely done, Stefan. Chicken Cordon Bleu has always been one of my favorite dishes but, like you, I haven’t had it in a very long time. Maybe after I finish throwing my close friend, John, his 60th birthday party I will rectify that situation.

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  2. I make something very similar using sous vide. I flatten the chicken breast with a rolling pin (tapping, not rolling), layer the ham or bacon and then the cheese, and then roll it into a spiral. Vacuum sealing makes a nice tight package without needing toothpicks or twine.

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  3. Pingback: Chile Ancho Relleno (Ancho Stuffed with Pork) | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

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