April 26, 2010

April 26 THE MONDAY MENU: Chicken Cordon Bleu

My wife is a wonderful lady who about once a month reminds me that in our seven years of marriage I have not once made for her one of her favorite entrees - Chicken Cordon Bleu. Tonight I made it for her in the traditional American way.

There are however several variations of Chicken Cordon Bleu. While no one knows what comprised the original version, what we do know is that centuries ago countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy were known to eat chicken or veal roulades filled with ham and some type of cheese. Italian versions of the dish were filled with prosciutto (Italian Ham) and Parmesan.

In the 1960s the recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu evolved into what we know it to be today. Thinly sliced deli ham is now used instead of prosciutto, and instead of Parmesan, the cheese of choice varies between mozzarella, Gruyère, and Swiss.

Regardless which recipe you prefer, Chicken Cordon Bleu is a fairly simple dish to make.

Conversation Starter: Recipes like this one evolve over time. What recipes have been passed on to you that you amended to suit your family's pallet? Perhaps you have passed a recipe on to someone else. Did they change the recipe? What did you or someone else do to make the dish different?

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (or crushed croûtons)
1/2 cup flour
2 Tablespoons melted butter
8 thin slices of hickory smoked ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 eggs beaten
Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pound chicken breast with flat side of mallet until 1/4 thick.
Add melted butter to the bread crumbs and mix well.
Season beaten eggs with salt and pepper.
Layer 2 slices of ham and 1 slice of cheese onto chicken.
Gently roll chicken into what will look like a jelly roll. Tuck in the sides.Toothpick or wooden skewers can be used to hold the roll together if necessary. Layer and roll each chicken breast the same way.
To bread the roulades, lightly dust each one with flour, dip into egg wash, and then coat with bread crumbs.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until roulades are browned and chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Remove toothpicks or skewers before serving.

Chicken Cordon Bleu can be cut into pinwheels and served as an hors d' oeuvre or served as an entree.

1 comment:

Angela Breidenbach said...

This one looks fabulous!