Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

So, while sitting around the kitchen table one night, I asked the kids if anyone had any meal requests. I like to do this every once in a while. The kids often surprise me. This was one of those cases.

The middle boy asked for Chicken Cordon Bleu.


Really really.

He had tried the frozen kind. You know, the kind where the chicken is processed and wrapped around a ball of cheese sauce and ham. Then breaded and probably fried?

I figured, why not? I've made it before, although it's been years. And a quick look up online reassured me that I remembered how to make it.

But of course, I like to do mine a little different. Just a bit.

Since the fireman and I are still not at our goal weight, I just didn't bread our chicken breasts. No big.

Start with defrosted chicken breasts, we used 8.

Pound them flat with a mallet.
I use a ziploc for quick cleanup.

Have your ham and cheese laid out so that you don't have to dig out more with contaminated chicken-hands. I just had my 8 year old hand me what I needed.

Use a clean plate, place one flattened chicken down at a time. Top with 1 slice of swiss cheese (or guyere, Jarlsberg would be amazing), then one slice of ham, and another half slice of swiss.

If your chicken breast happens to be smaller or thinner, break your cheese up some so that it fits better. Fold your ham to make it fit well. You are going to be rolling this up.

Once it's rolled up, tucking any ends of the chicken down and around as well as possible. Secure with two toothpicks. Again, have these set out to keep from contamination. Proper planning and all that jazz.

Then, place on a cookie sheet that's covered in tin foil and lightly sprayed with oil.

Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts.

It's called a roulade. Look at me bein all fancy!

Then crack an egg in a bowl, whisk it up and add a teaspoon of water to thin it out a bit.

On a plate, pour out about a cup of breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, salt and pepper as desired, 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of parsley. Mix this up with your hands.

The picture wasn't that much breadcrumbs, I added more before I got started.

Pick up each roulade, dip into the eggwash, rolling it around a bit, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

It's a bit messy, but goes quickly. Press in extra breadcrumb bits to chicken. Place back on pan.

When all of these are done, spritz the tops of them with spray oil. It just helps the crisping factor. Pop them in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Because the chicken is so thin it'll cook quickly. Really. I checked them afterwards and they were really done in 25 minutes. You should probably still check it anyway, incase your chicken is thicker in parts.

Now, if you like it more browned than this, stick it under a broiler for a couple of minutes at the end. But it really is flavorful enough.

I left a couple un-breaded. If you choose to do this, cover them with a piece of tinfoil so they don't dry out.
See how crunchy they are? The parmesan cheese really adds flavor to this. The cheese oozes out a bit, but it doesn't go everywhere.

I cut a slice of swiss cheese in thirds and laid it over the three unbreaded chicken breasts and popped it back in the oven and turned it off. In a couple of minutes, while I was defrosting the california blend veggies, it melted nicely!

I probably should have done it earlier and let it brown and bubble.

I love browned cheese. *oooooh*

The youngest boy had his nose all wrinkled up and said he only was gonna take a small chunk cause he'd had the processed kind before and it was gross.

I wish I could have taped his face. He LOVED it. :) Went back for more.

Middle boy? So, so happy that I made it. "This is even better than the kind I had before."
That's cause it's homemade my friend!
Unfortunately, the girl didn't care for it. Swiss cheese and all. But ya can't win 'em all!

The fireman and I really enjoyed it and I can honestly say that I didn't miss the breading. It wasn't as pretty, but still really tastey.

I mean, melted swiss? What could go wrong?

Oh, and if you really want a sauce to pour over it, you could totally make a quick sauce with milk and butter,white wine, parmesan, garlic and a little corn starch to thicken it. I may try one next time.



Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes said...

I absolutely love chicken cordon on bleu! This was a staple dish at our house growing up and my husband loves it! Yours looks scrumptious! :) Hope you have a great weekend!

JenMarie said...

Thanks! It always surprises me how easy it is, but it looks so decadent!
Have a great weekend, too!