I love cooking with my son. And when he took a Culinary Arts class in school this winter, he started coming home with recipes for us to cook together. Now how great is that?! I absolutely love it! Even some of his friends have gotten in on the fun and started cooking with us!
This recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu is an adaptation of one shared in the culinary arts classes at my son’s school. If you’ve ever made Chicken Cordon Bleu before, it can be a little fussy (I’m just being honest) but still easy enough to make with your kids. So if you have a little extra time and want to make a special, family meal, this is a wonderful dish to serve and it doesn’t take hours to prepare. And what I really like about it is that you can make it in advance so if you’re entertaining—voilà! All you have to do is cook up the chicken when your guests arrive.
So if you’re up for cooking something special, give this wonderful recipe a try. I promise, your family (and guests) will be asking for it again and again!
- 6 boneless chicken breasts
- 12 pieces of ham, thinly sliced
- 6 Swiss cheese slices
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons oil or butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
- 1½ cups chicken stock (we use homemade)
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ⅔ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- On a cutting board pound chicken breasts flat between layers of waxed paper or plastic wrap.
- Place two very thin slices of ham and a piece of Swiss cheese on each breast. Make sure these slices of ham and cheese have been cut and placed in such a way that they don't go past the edges of the chicken breast.
- Roll up the chicken breast tightly with the ham and cheese on the inside using toothpicks or metal turkey trussing pins to hold the rolled-up bundles together.
- To bread the chicken get three shallow, wide containers or bowls. Put the flour seasoned with some salt and pepper in one container, beaten eggs in the second container, and the breadcrumbs in the third container.
- Take a chicken bundle and dredge it in the flour mixture making sure the chicken is completely covered and shaking off any excess.
- Dip the chicken in the beaten egg and coat it completely.
- Let any excess egg drip off, then roll the chicken in breadcrumbs until completed coated.
- Set each chicken bundle aside until all the chicken has been breaded.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In an oven-proof skillet heat the oil and brown the chicken on all sides.
- Cover the chicken with foil and it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done.
- While the chicken is baking in the oven, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and cook the shallots until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and stir, cooking for a minute or two. Make sure the garlic doesn't brown or burn.
- Stir in flour and cook for a minute. Pour in the stock and stir well. Let the stock cook until it has reduced in half.
- Add cream, parmesan, and bring sauce right up to a boil—then reduce to low heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce has reached your desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the parsley a couple minutes prior to serving.
- Remove the toothpicks or turkey trussing pins from each chicken bundle.
- Cut each Chicken Cordon Bleu bundle into slices.
- Serve with white sauce and enjoy!
I find using metal turkey trussing pins works best since the toothpicks can get lost in the browned breading that enrobes each chicken breast. If you use toothpicks, though, just make sure you remove all of them. I find it usually takes 2 trussing pins or toothpicks per chicken breast.
If you choose to make these in advance simply wrap the breaded chicken in plastic wrap or foil and freeze or refrigerate until you're ready to cook them.
Kitchen Tips and Resources:
- A great oven-safe skillet works best to make this dish (although you can brown the chicken and transfer it to a baking dish). I love these Lodge, carbon-steel pans for cooking this chicken and other dishes that require some stove-top browning then more cooking in the oven.
- I recommend turkey trussing pins to hold together the Chicken Cordon Bleu bundles (they’re easier to see and remove after baking), but toothpicks can do the job as well.
- An instant read thermometer can help you make sure your chicken is cooked to perfection. I love my Thermapen splash proof, instant read thermometer! There are lots of others that work great too—just make sure you calibrate your thermometer so you cook your food to the appropriate temperature.
- If you’re looking for great whole wheat, Panko breadcrumbs, try Ian’s. Ian’s also make a gluten-free variety if you’re on a gluten-restricted diet.