Foolproof Chicken Cordon Bleu

From Cook's Country | April​/May 2010

Why this recipe works:

Once a necessity at any fashionable dinner party, chicken cordon bleu has been relegated to a tired option at wedding halls around the country. We wanted to restore this once-elegant recipe to its former glory.

Instead of streamlining the process to create a faster recipe for chicken cordon… read more

Once a necessity at any fashionable dinner party, chicken cordon bleu has been relegated to a tired option at wedding halls around the country. We wanted to restore this once-elegant recipe to its former glory.

Instead of streamlining the process to create a faster recipe for chicken cordon bleu, we focused on producing a finished product that would actually be worth making.

Our first attempts were far from promising. Wrapping chicken breasts—raggedy and uneven from excessive pounding—around cheese and ham, left us with a gooey mess. We found cutting a pocket into the breast to be much more efficient than the traditional method of pounding and rolling. To get the same swirl effect achieved by rolling the chicken around the ham and cheese, we simply rolled the ham slices into cylinders around shredded cheese and tucked the cylinders into each chicken breast.

We had the technique down, but our recipe was still a little boring. Adding a healthy dose of Dijon mustard to the egg wash boosted the flavor of our recipe, as did ditching store-bought bread crumbs in favor of homemade.

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Serves 4 to 6

To help prevent the filling from leaking, use large, 8-ounce chicken breasts and thoroughly chill the stuffed breasts before breading. We like Black Forest ham here.

Ingredients

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