Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekend Cooking..Chicken Cordon Bleu

My mother used to make Chicken Cordon Bleu and it was very good.
And later in life, I made it a few times, but to tell ya the truth, it was a pain in the neck to make.
I do not enjoy pounding chicken, and then you had to roll it up with the ham and cheese and then somehow hold it together. You might tie them up or use toothpicks but either are a pain and the cheese oozes out anyhoo. Tell me, how are you suppose to bread the rolls with all that stuff on the outside?

So, as I was looking through my new favorite cook book, The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook and saw a recipe that promised to be easier and better, well, I had to try it! And they were was way easier and very, very good. As the Sil and Bro and Niece, who were my test subjects will attest to.

Instead of all that pounding and rolling and tying, you just cut a pocket in the chicken breast and stuff it. How smart! Use a very sharp knife..and as I accidentally discovered, if the chicken is just a tiny bit frozen it is even easier. You want to cut as big a pocket as you can. Then lay out 2 oz. of ham slices..I overlapped mine, put the cheese on top..I used slices and not grated, roll it up, ham on the outside and stick in in the pocket. No need to close up the pocket really, although when you dip it in the egg and bread it, it pretty much closes it up. But since the ham holds the cheese in, it it not a big deal if it is a little open.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

25 Ritz crackers - about 3/4 of a sleeve
4 slices hearty sandwich bread, torn into quarters
6 T. unsalted butter, melted
8  slices deli ham, 8 oz. in total
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
4 (8 oz) boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and adjust the oven racks to lowest and middle positions
To make the bread crumbs, pulse crackers and bread in food processor until coarsely ground. Drizzle in butter and pulse to incorporate. Bake crumbs on a rimmed baking sheets on the middle rack, stirring occasionally, until light brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow dish. Do not turn the oven off.

Top each ham slice with 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese and roll tightly. Set aside. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Cut a deep pocket into the thickest part of the chicken breast, stuff with 2 ham-and-cheese rolls and press close. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

Beat eggs and mustard in a second shallow dish. Place flour in a third shallow dish. One at a time, coat the stuffed chicken breasts lightly with flour, then into the egg mixture, and dredge in the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. (Breaded chicken can be refrigerated, covered, for one day if you'd like to make it ahead) 
Transfer chicken to a baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack until the bottom of the chicken is golden brown - about 10 minutes. Then move the baking sheet to the middle rack, lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature registers 160 degrees, about 20-25 minutes.
Transfer to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest for about 5 minutes. Serve.

Doesn't that look tasty??
As to my chances, yes, there were a couple.
First, I made only one roll for each breast. 2 oz. ham...2 oz. cheese...roll, insert in pocket. Second, I had no bread, so I used Panko bread crumbs and it was excellent. I did toast them in the oven for a minute, with the crackers I had crushed in a ziplock bag and tossed with the butter. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN THEM. Just saying..not that I did

I also made a little white sauce with a little cheese in it to serve with them and the rice, because that is what my mommy always serve with them. Rice, peas, white sauce. And you can never have too much cheese.
The coating was excellent, flavorful with that tiny bit of mustard (although I could not identify the mustard) and very crispy. The chicken was tender, even without the pounding, very juicy and I love the taste of the Swiss cheese with the ham and chicken. Yum!
Easy, delicious and pretty quick.
This one is a keeper in my book!

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. It does look tasty and easy! When we have Chicken Cordon Bleu around here, Carl makes it!

  2. Yummmmm!!! Looks so easy. You are definitely selling me on that ATK cookbook...

  3. What a great idea! It looks so good, I love Chicken Cordon Bleu. I need to check out that cookbook.

  4. This sounds infinitely easier than those flat slices of cordon bleu! And a rustic look as well :)

  5. Oh that DOES look good. But I don't know.. I find pounding the heck out of chicken breasts pretty darned satisfying. Therapeutic, really. lol!

  6. Great photo work! You have made it look so perfect. Yum. Have a lovely week.

  7. I don't eat meat, but even I like the look of this. I love the cheese oozing out. That makes for a good cordon blue. I always hated the ones who barely had any cheese in them.

  8. Wow, it looks really good, like something you'd get in a restaurant!

  9. I have a tendency to mess up when I cook meat recipes, but how can you go wrong with 3/4 of a stick of butter and all that yummy cheese?

  10. My family loves Chicken Cordon Bleu, and I'm trying a Pasta Chicken Cordon Bleu tonight that I found on Pinterest. No pounding or rolling involved, haha.

  11. Does sound good and easier than the traditional method. We use panko around our house in all sorts of cooking. It's taken over the place of regular bread crumbs.

  12. Love modernized versions of traditional recipes. This sounds like a winner!


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