Meet the mouthwatering Chicken Cordon Bleu, a culinary superstar of French cuisine that strikes the perfect balance between sophistication and homely charm. Its tender chicken breasts coated in a crispy golden brown breading, that conceals a delightful secret surprise of gooey Swiss cheese and savory ham!
What Is Chicken Cordon Bleu
This quintessential French dish effortlessly marries elegance with comfort. Chicken cordon bleu is a culinary masterpiece featuring breaded chicken breasts lovingly stuffed with Swiss cheese and ham. It’s a delicious journey of flavors and textures that start with a crispy crust that leads you to tender chicken filled with gooey cheese and porky goodness.
But the appeal of chicken cordon bleu lies not only in its delicious taste but also in its easy preparation and versatility. It’s the kind of dish that you can serve your family for a laid-back meal or feature on the menu for your next fancy dinner party. This French classic never fails to impress, no matter the setting.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Easy Recipe! You will enjoy the satisfaction of creating a restaurant-worthy meal without a culinary degree. This dish is all about basic ingredients and easy steps.
- French Classic! This dish represents the timeless appeal of French cuisine. The combination of crispy chicken, melty Swiss cheese, and savory ham is delicious.
- Crowd Favorite! Guaranteed to please! Whether you’re feeding your family or hosting a dinner party, it’s the kind of dish that makes everyone at the table eager for seconds.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts serve as the canvas for stuffing.
- Swiss Cheese: Adds a layer of cheesy goodness. Feel free to substitute with other types of cheese such as Gruyère, Emmental, mozzarella, or provolone.
- Ham: Provides a savory, salty contrast to the richness of the cheese.
- All-Purpose Flour: Acts as the initial coating for the chicken and helps to create a crispy crust.
- Sweet Paprika: Provides a hint of sweet flavor to the flour mixture.
- Salt: Elevates all the flavors of the chicken cordon bleu.
- Black Pepper: Adds a touch of spiciness to the flour mixture.
- Eggs: Serve as an adhesive for the breadcrumbs to adhere to the chicken.
- Breadcrumbs: Create the signature crispy coating. You can use any type of breadcrumbs including panko and gluten-free.
- Olive Oil: Used for pan-frying the chicken rolls. The olive oil imparts a savory flavor and helps to achieve the perfect golden-brown crust.
How To Make Chicken Cordon Bleu
This popular French classic may sound complicated, but it’s surprisingly simple. It’s a comforting and delicious dish that doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or special cooking skills.
Preheat The Oven
To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). You want the oven to be hot when the chicken is ready to bake. Then grab a baking dish and set it aside for now.
Flatten The Breasts
While the oven is heating up, use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound your chicken breasts until they are about ¼ inch in thickness. This step is what makes them possible to stuff.
Fill The Chicken
After you’ve flattened all the breasts, place one slice of ham and one slice of Swiss cheese on each piece of chicken. Then start at one end and roll the chicken up, tucking in the sides as you go. Now, secure each roll with toothpicks to keep them intact.
Set Up The Breading Station
Before you can bread the chicken, you need to create an assembly line. First, stir together the flour, sweet paprika, salt, and black pepper in a shallow dish. Then beat the eggs in another shallow dish, and place the breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.
Bread The Chicken
This step is easy, but it’s important to do it properly. To start, dredge a chicken roll in the flour mixture. Next, dip it into the bowl of beaten eggs, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, roll it in the breadcrumbs, gently pressing them onto the chicken to ensure a perfect coating. Then repeat the process with the other rolls.
Brown The Chicken
Next, it’s time to start creating the crispy texture. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Then add the rolls and cook until evenly browned on all sides. Now, remove them from the skillet and place them in a single layer in the baking dish.
Bake And Serve
Finally, transfer the chicken rolls to the oven to bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through and the cheese is gooey. Then let the cooked chicken rest for a few minutes so that it retains its juices. Now, remove the toothpicks and serve your chicken cordon bleu with a side of roasted asparagus, potatoes au gratin or a tossed salad if you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
The “bleu” in Chicken Cordon Bleu does not refer to the color blue but rather to the French term for “blue ribbon” or “top quality.”
Absolutely! You can create other variations with different types of cheese and ham. Additionally, you add other fillings like asparagus, spinach, broccoli, or sun-dried tomatoes. Just make sure not to overstuff the rolls. Some folks even like to serve this dish with a side of Dijon mustard cream sauce, hollandaise sauce, or Alfredo sauce.
First, ensure a tight seal when rolling the chicken and secure the ends with toothpicks. It’s also important to avoid overstuffing. Finally, when coating with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, be sure to seal any openings.
- Use plastic wrap for pounding. When flattening the chicken with the meat mallet, place it between two sheets of plastic wrap. This not only prevents the chicken from sticking to the mallet but also makes cleanup a breeze.
- Even thickness is important. The flattened breasts should all be about ¼ inch thick. This helps to ensure even cooking. If not, some rolls may cook quicker than others.
- Use a wire rack. Bake the chicken on a wire rack in the baking dish. This allows for even airflow and a crisper crust.
- Check for doneness. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to guarantee it’s safe to eat.
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, place the chicken cordon bleu rolls on a baking sheet and heat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can also microwave them on medium power for a few minutes. You will need to let frozen leftovers thaw out overnight in the fridge first.
Discover More Chicken Recipes
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast
- Chicken Meatloaf
- Huli Huli Chicken
- Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Souvlaki
- Homemade Shake ‘N Bake Chicken (Air Fryer Version)
Craving More? Follow Along:
Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 4 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 4 thin slices Swiss cheese
- 4 thin slices ham
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts to about ¼ inch thickness.
- Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese on each chicken breast. Roll the chicken up, starting from one end and tucking in the sides as you go. Secure each roll with toothpicks.
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, paprika, salt, and black pepper. In another dish, beat the eggs. Place the breadcrumbs in a third dish.
- Dredge each chicken roll in the flour mixture, then dip in the beaten eggs, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken rolls and cook until they're browned on all sides.
- Transfer the browned chicken rolls to a baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, then remove the toothpicks before serving.
Tips & Notes:
- Choice of Cheese: While Swiss cheese is traditional, feel free to experiment with Gruyère or Emmental for a different taste profile.
- Breadcrumb Variations: Panko breadcrumbs can offer a crunchier exterior. For a low-carb version, try almond flour or crushed pork rinds.
- Toothpicks: Remember to count the number of toothpicks used for each roll to ensure they’re all removed before serving.
- Serving Suggestion: This dish pairs wonderfully with a light white wine sauce or a Dijon mustard cream sauce for added depth.
- Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. For best results, reheat in the oven to maintain the crispiness.