Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fancy Chicken Cordon Bleu

It wasn't too long ago that I posted a recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu, but today I wanted to try a new recipe (I love my old recipe, it is simple and delicious, but it was missing the elegant factor that I wanted to capture).  Chicken Cordon Bleu has to be one of my very favorite meals.  I remember going to my college roommate's home for a Sunday meal prepared by her mother.  She served a beautiful Chicken Cordon Bleu and I thought, "I'll never be able to cook like this!"  Fortunately, this is every bit as good as I remember hers being.

For the site I found this recipe and great pictures, click here.

25 Ritz crackers (I used 20 Town House Flip Pretzel crackers)
4 slices hearty sandwich bread, white or wheat (I used a bagel I had on hand, I crumbled the cracker and bagel with my blender--this made plenty of crumbs.  I could have reduced the crackers to 15 probably)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 thin slices deli ham (about 8 ounces)
2 cups shredded swiss cheese
4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), see note
Salt and pepper
2-3 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour  (
1/2 cup is enough)


Top each ham slice with about 1/4 cup shredded cheese. If your ham slices are too small, shingle two ham slices on top of each other to create a larger slice and roll the cheese up in that. Roll tightly and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.  Cut a pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and stuff each pocket with 2 ham/cheese rolls. Pull the top flap of chicken over the rolls and press to seal (you can use a toothpick to gently secure the pocket edge, if you like). Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the stuffed chicken, covered, for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pulse the crackers and bread in a food processor until they are coarsely ground. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse to incorporate together. Transfer the crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs are lightly browned. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow baking dish (a pie plate works great!). Leave the oven on.
In another shallow dish or pie plate, beat the eggs and mustard. Place the flour in a third shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Working with one stuffed chicken breast at a time, coat the chicken lightly with flour and then dip in the egg mixture, covering both sides. Dredge the chicken in the toasted bread crumbs, pressing lightly to help the crumbs stick to the chicken. (The breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.)
Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the bottom of the chicken is browned, about 10 minutes. Move the chicken to a middle rack in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 (you don’t have to leave the chicken out of the oven while the temperature adjusts, just put it back in the oven and then reduce the temperature), and bake until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (160 degrees on an thermometer), about 25-30 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

*Delicious and beautiful (my camera/photographer didn't do them justice).  In comparing this recipe and my original recipe, I loved how the bread crumbs looked on this take.  They were golden and delicious--making your own bread crumbs takes time, but you are going to impress, they are worth the effort.  Toasting them was the key.  Also, if you don't like to pound your chicken, favor this recipe.  Flouring the chicken breasts before rolling them in egg then crumbs makes the crust more of a separate entity, I liked the hint of tang the Dijon mustard added.

1 comment:

  1. Allison,
    I am going to attempt your take on this recipe tonight! One question, did the bread crumbs get soggy at all while baking them?