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.
Chicken Cordon Blue (courtesy of Bobby Flay)
- 4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
- 4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma (or good deli ham)
- 1/2 pound Gruyere, grated (or swiss cheese)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (or dry bread crumbs)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lay the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic and lay 2 slices of prosciutto neatly over the top to cover the breast and sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the prosciutto. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap. Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Season the flour with salt and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs with thyme, garlic and kosher salt, pepper, and melted butter. The butter will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and season so the flour, the eggs and the crumbs are all seasoned.
- Remove the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs. Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil and carefully transfer the roulades onto it. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¾ – 1 cup half and half, cream or whole milk
- ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup sherry
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add in the sherry and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Whisk together half and half with cornstarch. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the pan and mix until smooth and thickened. Reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the cheese, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese until melted. Add a bit of milk if the sauce it too thick.
- Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and noodles.