I love making things that taste fancy but don’t require a lot of expensive ingredients. Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of those dinners. The result is a dinner that looks like a million dollars but doesn’t cost much to make!
We eat a lot of chicken. Mr. Comfortable is partial to thighs and drumsticks but he can manage the breasts if they’re juicy and tender. And oh, how I miss the pre-cancer days when he could eat anything! Using skinless, boneless breasts isn’t something I usually do but this Chicken Cordon Bleu comes out just the way Mr. C likes it. And the sauce really makes it a delight. It’s a little spicy, nice and cheesy, and altogether wonderful!
As always I preheat my oven first.
I start making the recipe by butterflying (that must be word since I didn’t get that little squiggly red line) my chicken breasts. These breasts came from a whole chicken I cut up. It’s so much cheaper to cut up your own than buy the various chicken parts already cut.
I place two piece of Swiss cheese on each breast. Normally I cut the cheese slices in half but I have a cleaning injury and was trying to hurry. Yep. A cleaning injury. I’ll explain another time.
We had that semi-boneless ham so I cut a few small pieces from it for the next step; layering ham on the cheese.
I folded the chicken over to enclose the ham and Swiss. Since I got a bit carried away with both the cheese and the ham I had to hold the breasts closed with toothpicks. One of the breasts looked like I was making porcupine!
Next I prepared some flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, beat an egg in a large bowl, and poured melted butter over Panko breadcrumbs (I love those crumbs!) that I had seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little thyme.
I very lightly dredged the chicken breasts in the flour. It’s really just a dusting. Then I dipped the chicken in the egg, then the prepared Panko. I didn’t get pictures of this process because I couldn’t touch the raw chicken and my camera, too. Sure, I could have washed my hands between each step but, seriously, who does that?
The chicken went in the oven for about 25 minutes. My oven runs a bit hot so you want to be sure your chicken comes to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. It may take a little longer than mine but don’t overcook it!
When the chicken was nearly done I made the Parmesan Dijon Cream Sauce. I was going to do just the Parmesan Cream Sauce but that sounded a tiny bit bland to me. Dijon mustard has just the right amount of bite to it so I added a little.
I melted butter in a saucepan then added the flour and whisked it until it was well combined and the flour was a bit browned.
I slowly added the half-and-half. I used half-and-half because it’s so much richer than milk but you can use whole milk if you prefer. I whisked the half-and-half until it was nearly at a boil.
When the half-and-half had started to thicken I added the Parmesan and the Dijon and stirred it until everything was well combined.
I let the sauce simmer to thicken it, stirring it frequently, and it was done right when the chicken came out of the oven!
I served the Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Dijon Cream Sauce and long grain and wild rice. Oh, my gosh, it was just delicious!
The breading was crunchy and the sauce was amazing!
Who could resist crunchy breading on a chicken breast wrapped around ham and Swiss cheese? Not me!
Chicken Cordon Bleu
For the chicken:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
- 2 slices ham, sliced about 1/4 inch thick (don’t use lunch meat ham for this, please!)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs (plain)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut a pocket in each chicken breast being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Place 2 pieces of Swiss cheese and 1or 2 slices of ham in each pocket (larger breasts may need 2 slices).
- Season the flour with salt and pepper.
- Mix the Panko with garlic powder, salt and pepper (to taste), thyme leaves, and the melted butter.
- Lightly dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off excess.
- Dip floured chicken in egg then in seasoned Panko breadcrumbs.
- If needed close pockets with toothpicks.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- When chicken is nearly done make the sauce:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 – 2 minutes being careful not to over-brown.
- Slowly add the half-and-half, whisking constantly until flour and half-and-half are well combined.
- Add Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.
- Let the sauce simmer, stirring frequently, until it has thickened.
I usually serve this with a long grain and wild rice blend.