This dish can go horribly wrong. I have nightmares of eating this at a bridal luncheon a few years ago. Tough, dry chicken, ham with a strange texture, and fake tasting, rubbery cheese. I still have a sneaking suspicion that the “caterer” was the frozen food section at Wal-Mart. So, why make it for dinner, then? Because chicken cordon bleu can be delicious. And it was, oh, so very delicious.
I looked at quite a few recipes, but this one from Bobby Flay sounded the best. Gruyère cheese. Yum. While it is not imperative to use gruyère cheese I highly recommend it. Go for it. You will be rewarded for your cheese purchase. But if you still don’t feel like taking the plunge, swiss cheese will work.
I used slices of black forest ham instead of the prosciutto called for in the recipe. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Well, not exactly. I didn’t pound the chicken breasts quite thin enough, so measure them if you need to and pound all the way to the 1/4 inch thickness instructed. I had to secure my rolls with toothpicks, which turned out to work very well. CAUTION: Tell your husband that there are toothpicks in his chicken before he scarfs it down.
I loved the panko crumb crust. If you cannot find panko, then dry bread crumbs is a fine substitute.
I served the chicken with a creamy parmesan sauce. Some chicken cordon bleus are served plain, without a sauce, but I planned to serve the chicken with egg noodles and thought it needed a sauce. It was perfect with the chicken and with the noodles. Creamy and subtle with just a hint of cheese.