Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients

  • 3 double chicken breasts (about 7-ounces each), skinless and boneless
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 6 thin slices deli ham
  • 4 large slices (Baby) Swiss* cheese 
    • Many recipes call for Gruyere cheese, but since it's around $16 a package, I had to go with Swiss!
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Written Directions for Chicken Cordon Bleu:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the chicken open, turning as you go to make a large "sheet" of chicken.  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. "Paint" a layer of Dijon mustard on each breast.  Lay 2 slices of ham followed by a slice of cheese (2 slices if small) on each breast, 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 and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the breadcrumbs with thyme, kosher salt, pepper, and oil. The addition of the oil will help the crust brown. Prepare an egg wash with the beaten eggs and water.  The mixture will be really fluid. Prepare a breading "station" with the flour, egg wash, then breadcrumbs.  Lightly dust the chicken with flour, then dip in the egg mixture. Gently roll to coat in the bread crumbs, pressing to get them to stick.

These are now ready to be browned.  Allow about 4 Tbsp butter to come to a high heat.  You want the chicken to really sizzle when it hits the butter.  The butter will JUST start turning a bit of a color.  Allow the color to develop richly on the bottom before you turn them.  Don't move them around once you have them set in there.  This is important to "setting" that beautiful crust.  Turn and brown each side.  Carefully transfer the roulades to a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes until browned and cooked through or until meat thermometer inserted into the center reaches 160 degrees.  Allow the breasts to rest several minutes so all the cheese doesn't run out.  Cut into pinwheels and serve with the wine sauce.  Garnish with fresh parsley.  

The wine sauce:  Melt 2-3 Tbsp of butter in a pan.  Add the white wine and allow to reduce slightly.  Add the crushed chicken bouillon cube or bouillon granules.  Mix/whisk the cornstarch in with cream and add to the sauce.  Allow to come to a full boil, then reduce heat.  Cook until it reaches the desired consistency and coats a spoon nicely.  Season with fresh cracked black pepper and a bit of salt.