Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

4 double chicken breasts (about 7-ounces each), skinless and boneless
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 thin slices deli ham
16 thin slices Gruyere or Swiss cheese
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp olive oil
2 eggs
2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Take care not to pound too hard because the meat may tear or create holes. Lay 2 slices of cheese on each breast, followed by 2 slices of ham, and 2 more of cheese; leaving a 1/2-inch margin on all sides to help seal the roll. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll. Squeeze the log gently to seal.

Season the flour with salt and pepper; spread out on waxed paper or in a flat dish. Mix the breadcrumbs with thyme, kosher salt, pepper, and oil. The oil will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and water, the mixture should be fluid. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, then dip in the egg mixture. Gently coat in the bread crumbs. Carefully transfer the roulades to a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes until browned and cooked through. Cut into pinwheels before serving.

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence & The Food Network

Laura’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

First of all, I hate my camera.  I'm just putting that out there.  Moving right along . . . I'm in love.  Yep, I said it: IN LOVE!  I don't know where panko bread crumbs have been all my life, but I've seen the light. 

The preparation of this dish was messy.  First of all, I don't want to pound out chicken.  After pounding the chicken for what seemed like an eternity, it seemed like they still weren't thin enough so I cut down the amount of ham and swiss.  Then came the breading part.  I know all about not using the same hand for the egg as you do for the bread crumbs, but I couldn't avoid it here.  I kept feeling like the chicken was going to unfold and I did all I could to not let that happen.

I had roasted garlic and pecan rice and some asparagus to go along with it.  We had debated on sauce and finally decided on a mornay sauce with some mustard added in. 

The chicken was delicious.  I was really glad that we decided to use a sauce because it would have been a little too dry otherwise.  Honestly, I'd make it again just so I'd have an excuse to use the panko bread crumbs one more time.  A really delicious dish, just extend the cooking time and be prepared to get a little messy with the bread crumbs.  Trust me, it was worth it!

Meredith’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

I'm going to second almost everything Laura just said (except I LOVE my camera). The pounding... oh the pounding! As soon as I started, I remembered why I don't stuff/roll/roulade things. If anyone has the secret to getting a piece of chicken from one-inch thick down to a mere 1/4"-inch without decimating it, please share. I'm all ears.

Despite the messiness in preparation, the finished product surprisingly held together well on the pan. I ended up extending the cooking time to about 35 minutes. My (super delicious, wonderful golden gems of) Panko never got as brown as I'd have preferred. I'd actually recommend upping the temperature to 400˚ and cooking for about 20-25 minutes.

I topped mine with a white sauce made with swiss, dijon and a little thyme. Is it still a mornay if I embellished? I cooked up some yellow squash with onions and garlic and a little rotini with some of the cheese sauce to finish the plate.

All in all, it was tasty. Next time, I'd use more ham, skip rolling it up and just top the breaded chicken at the last minute with the ham and cheese. And would just have a mound of toasted Panko crumbs as a side ;)

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