Now with a bonus recipe for Orange Beurre Blanc to give it that extra zing
These step-by-step pictures with easy-to-follow instructions make this as simple as it is irresistible!
Step 1: History
- Chicken Cordon Bleu is a French-inspired poultry dish, although evidence suggests it was actually developed in the United States by chefs imitating other stuffed meat dishes from Europe.
- Cordon Bleu means blue ribbon in French, the original blue ribbon was a cord that an order of French knights wore around their necks in the middle ages.
- The cordon bleu was later adopted by French cooking school. In French culinary tradition, the Cordon Bleu is awarded to food or chefs (traditionally women) of particularly high quality.
- The European dish most similar to Chicken Cordon Bleu is Chicken Kiev, chicken stuffed with seasoned butter, dredged in bread crumbs, and fried. My mom always makes this for my brother's birthday. (Yes, that is an important part of it's history!)
- The dish was also likely influenced by Veal Cordon Bleu, a Swiss dish in which veal is wrapped in ham and cheese and fried.
Step 2: Materials
- 4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- 8 thin slices Prosciutto (a tasty twist on traditional deli ham)
- 4-8 slices smoked Provolone (twisting again on the usual Swiss)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons water
- Salt & pepper (preferably freshly ground)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (Panko! What? Italian style gives it extra wow!.)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Step 3: Prep
Butterfly chicken breasts (cut them through the middle and split open to look like a butterfly - sorta) and pound them to a thickness of approximately 1/4" (a little under a centimeter).
Lay 1 slice of cheese on each breast, followed by 2 slices of prosciutto (or ham), and 1 more of cheese if desired; 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 burrito.
Secure with toothpicks if needed.
Step 4: Season & Bake
Mix the breadcrumbs with oil. The oil will help the crust brown.
Beat together the eggs and water.
Lightly dust the chicken with seasoned flour, then dip in the egg mixture. (This is a common technique, but not traditionally used in cordon bleu. I think you'll agree this added twist is worth the effort!)
Gently coat in the bread crumbs.
Set seam side down in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until the juices run clear.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Step 6: Orange Beurre Blanc
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, or 1/2 T fresh
Step 7: Heat Sauce
Stir in heavy cream, bring to a gentle simmer, and allow to reduce and thicken over low heat.
Remove from heat.
Stir in rosemary and keep warm until ready to use.
Just before serving, stir butter into sauce and drizzle over the chicken. So yummy!