Chicken Cordon Bleu
Everyone needs a great, easy chicken cordon bleu recipe like this one. The chicken is juicy, and the bread crumb is delicious.
I’ve always struggled in the past to make chicken cordon bleu turn out edible-looking. I flatten my chicken breasts (usually too much so that there are holes and it is paper thin), layer the cheese and ham inside and then I begin the process that makes me want to pull my hair out.
With icky chicken covered fingers, where some people can finish with a neat little bunchle, my chicken cordon blue’s are lumpy and punctured with 23 toothpicks to keep everything together. Not some of my finest cooking moments.
Thankfully Cook’s Country came out with a clever version of how to stuff this classic dish and it peaked my interest.
The shredded swiss cheese is rolled up in ham slices and then gently tucked inside a pocket cut into the chicken.
The chicken is crusted in buttery bread crumbs and crackers and baked perfectly.
For once – my cheese didn’t erupt into a volcanic mess on the baking sheet. It stayed put just where it needed to be – inside the chicken and the result was perfection. I can honestly say can honestly say it is the only way I make classic chicken cordon bleu. I just love this dish so, so much. So traditional; so delicious. The chicken is tender and juicy, the crunchy bread crumb crust is delicious and the ham and Swiss are just epically cordon bleu.
FAQs for Chicken Cordon Bleu
I would freeze it after you’ve breaded it, mostly just to save time.
I don’t flatten it – I stuff the ham and cheese into the little pocket of the chicken breast.
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- 25 Ritz crackers, regular or whole wheat
- 4 slices hearty sandwich bread, white or whole wheat
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 8 thin slices deli ham (about 8 ounces)
- 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total), see note
- Salt and pepper
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pulse the crackers and bread in a food processor until they are coarsely ground. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse until the ingredients are incorporated. Transfer the crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs are lightly browned. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow baking dish (a pie plate works great!) or leave them on the pan and scoop them together into a low mound. Reduce the oven temp to 400 degrees F.
- Top each ham slice with about 1/4 cup shredded cheese. If your ham slices are too small, shingle two ham slices on top of each other to create a larger slice and roll the cheese up in that. Roll tightly and set aside. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Following the pictures below, cut a pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and stuff each pocket with 2 ham/cheese rolls. Pull the top flap of chicken over the rolls and press to seal (you can use a toothpick to gently secure the pocket edge, if you like). Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the stuffed chicken, covered, for at least 20 minutes.
- In another shallow dish or pie plate, beat the eggs and mustard. Place the flour in a final shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Working with one stuffed chicken breast at a time, coat the chicken lightly with flour and then dip in the egg mixture, covering both sides. Dredge the chicken in the toasted bread crumbs, pressing lightly to help the crumbs stick to the chicken. (The breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.)
- Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Make sure an oven rack is in the center of the oven. Bake the chicken until golden brown and cooked through (160 degrees on an thermometer inserted into the chicken, not the filling), about 25-30 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Chicken Breasts: to make sure the cheese doesn’t leak out of the chicken while baking, use large (at least 8-ounce) chicken breasts and chill the stuffed chicken breasts in the refrigerator before breading.
Make-Ahead Tip: the breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.
Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Cook’s Country April/May 2010
Cut into the thickest part of the chicken breast to make a deep pocket. Be careful not to cut to far over to the edge that needs to stay intact. The opening of the pocket should be three to four inches.