I love Chicken Cordon Bleu. To be fair, it's cheese, chicken, ham--three of my favorite foods rolled (literally) into a slightly bougie dinner dish that always leaves our guests impressed.
We grew up on those mega-processed, chicken cordon bleu loaves that my mom used to buy in the freezer section.
My wife shares the same childhood memory: mom coming home from work, lovingly popping dinner in the oven after removing its plastic covering.
I literally didn't know restaurants made this until I was an adult. I thought it was in the same realm as chicken croquettes or fish sticks, but more expensive. To me, it was special-occasion food.
Chicken cordon bleu is fancy
When I found out restaurants served this delicacy, I always looked for it. This tiny little Irish place my wife and I visited when we first started dating only served it on Valentine's day.
This was the kind of place that would serve baked potatoes with everything, including their chicken parm which, to be honest, is still a combination I still love to this day.
For another fancy restaurant favorite, try our French Dip Sandwiches and French Onion Soup.
No joke: we had it at our wedding
Later down the road, after more than one Valentine's Days at the local Irish pub which was the only fancy restaurant I knew growing up (we literally had every baby shower, bridal shower, big birthday, and funeral luncheon there because it was so cheap), I excitedly chose this as one of the dishes served at our wedding.
We didn't have our wedding at the Irish pub because, well, it was shut down temporarily because of health code violations. This wedding chicken cordon bleu was the guests' favorite, and it l our favorite too.
It is perfect for celebratory occasions, but it is just as good for weeknight cooking. Speaking of celebrating, we are definitely celebrating the Eagles' win yesterday!
Here's my recipe for fancy, but not really too fancy, chicken cordon bleu:
Dwardcooks Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 5 breasts boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 4 oz Wegmans Delicatessen Ham
- 10 slice s Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Ultra thin sliced Swiss cheese
- 3 item s egg(s)
- 2 oz all-purpose flour
- 3 oz panko breadcrumbs
- 5 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons Fresh thyme now is not the thyme for some old, dried thyme collecting dust from Thanksgiving. Get the real deal if available. Life changingly different.
- 8 tsp Trader Joe's Spices of the World 21 seasoning salute
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- Butterfly the chicken breasts, and pound it super thin between a folded piece of Saran wrap. Salt and pepper both sides.
- Add a shmear of Dijon, 2 slices of swiss, two slices of ham to each and roll breast tightly. I set up my station with salt and pepper already mixed, the cheese, ham, and Dijon all on a plate, and keep it close by so I don't cross contaminate my ingredients. By having everything ready on a plate before assembling, it really made everything easier.
- Once the chicken is assembled, roll it tightly. Roll it up in the Saran wrap like a burrito OR, roll it and twist the ends until tight. Let cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes so it stays in the form you made it in. You can also fasten it together with toothpicks. I have done this in the past with a lot of success, but I saw them do it with Saran wrap on one of those cooking videos all over Facebook and decided to try it this way. Much to my surprise, the Saran wrap trick really worked! I didn't have to dig out a bunch of toothpicks before serving either! The steps up until now can be done up to 3 days in advance.
- *Unfortunately, I didn't snag a picture because "little chef" (my three year old) kept trying to steal cheese and bread crumbs to feed a mouse outside. She hasn't seen a mouse, but has decided she is going to catch one (with a lasso because duh) and keep it in her bed as a pet. To her, holey cheese (Swiss) is a mouse's favorite cheese so naturally me buying Swiss gave her the go-ahead to find a new pet. Look up a video or two and I'm sure you'll find the technique I explained in step 3.
- 3 bowls. #1 flour, salt, and pepper. #2-3 eggs, a dash of dijon, salt and pepper. #3 bread crumbs, salt, pepper, 21 seasoning salute, onion powder, and thyme. Roll the chicken in each bowl and then place back in the fridge. This process makes a lot of dirty dishes. I use paper plates for this to make clean up a little easier.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place chicken on the tray, spray tops with EVOO spray, and cook for about 25-35 minutes depending on thickness at 400. cheese will be oozing and juices will run clear when cut. Let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.
- Now, if you have made breaded chicken and sprayed the breadcrumbs with cooking spray in the past, but you want a better crunch, you can actually pan fry them lightly in a pan until the breadcrumbs get crisp before you add them to the oven. I did this tonight and it adds color and crunch, but it it not necessary.
- Add the sauce (recipe below).
You may be wondering what that sauce is. It's a DIJON CREAM SAUCE. SO GOOD. Two recipes for one!
Dijon Cream Sauce
- 1 ½ cup s fat-free half-and-half
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- .5-1 oz grated Parmesan cheese depending on preference
- 2 tablespoons of dijon
- 8 slices Wegmans Food You Feel Good About Ultra thin sliced Swiss cheese
- 3 oz Neufchâtel cheese
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- Melt cream cheese into one cup of the half and half. Cook until smooth. Mix the flour into the remaining half and half really well, pour in while stirring. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer.
- Add cheese, dijon, nutmeg, and thyme. Salt and pepper if needed, but wait until after the cheese incorporates since it can be salty. Right before plating, I add about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme. It adds a freshness to the dishes and ties the flavors in with the chicken.
- Serving is 2 tablespoons for 2 points! I like to put it on the plate and then plate my chicken cordon Bleu on top because it’s fancy and all. plus, you know how much sauce you have instead of trying to add it on top. This is also the bee’s knees on roasted potatoes, but we had 4 measly potatoes in the whole house tonight.
I made it because I had a few extra squares of Swiss left in the pack from Wegmans, plus who doesn't like
How easy was that? (Inside Barefoot Contessa joke for those of you who don't watch Food Network all day like me).
Now if you'll excuse me, I still have some points left and several pieces of celebratory Kandy Kake Sheet Kake leftover from the Superbowl. Enjoy!