Chicken Cordon Bleu

Lesson learned this week: when asking a teenager what their favorite meal is, because you’d like to make it for them, be prepared for anything!  I asked our family member who was staying with us to help watch Evie this week what she likes to eat.  She mentioned Stromboli, and pasta.  I pushed for a favorite “dish” and the answer was: chicken cordon bleu!  I have never ever made this dish.  I’ve had it at banquets and events and haven’t really cared for it, but, if the wonderful girl who is so loved by my daughter (and us) wants chicken cordon bleu…then she’s getting chicken cordon bleu! I went to Google for this one, because I wanted to try to find something different than the deli ham and mozzarella recipes in my old school Betty Crocker books.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of old school…but I wanted this one to be super special.

Thanks to Tyler Florence, and this recipe, we ended up with a winner of a dish!  It was not as difficult to prepare as I had feared, and with the help of my adorable sous chef, we had it prepared and in the oven in about 25 minutes.  One note from my experience with this though is 20-25 minutes cooking chicken breasts at 350° is NOT enough.  I think I ended up baking it for 30-35 minutes, and my oven is pretty accurate.   The prosciutto and the Gruyere were fabulous together, and the fresh thyme made this the best chicken cordon bleu I've ever tasted.  The chicken was not dry at all, a rare occurrence when using chicken breasts (we prefer chicken thighs in this house).

We don't always cook in our jammies, but when we do...we're super cute

The recipe is posted below, copied from the Food Network site I found it on (link above) with a few edits.  I purchased the prosciutto and Gruyere from the deli counter, they kindly gave me a chunk of cheese rather than slicing it for sandwiches.  I purchased extra cheese and extra prosciutto for the sides I was planning, how I made those is shared below Tyler Florence's recipe.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence, 2008

4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
1/2 pound Gruyere, grated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lay a 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 1 slice 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. 

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.

To the recipe I added sautéed Brussels sprouts and cheese sauce. 

Brussels sprouts: The sprouts were sliced thin, and added to a sauté pan that already had minced garlic and shallots with thinly sliced prosciutto crisping up in olive oil.  It was a nice vehicle for the rich chicken breasts and cheese sauce I added. 

Cheese sauce:  sauté garlic and shallots in olive oil.  Add heavy cream (about ½ cup I think) and ¼ cup gruyere.  Throw in a sprig or two of thyme.  Melt cheese.  Pass sauce through strainer to remove solids, and you have a smooth cheese sauce to drizzle over finished dish! 


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