Tuesday, February 21, 2012

chicken cordon bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is definitely not my favorite chicken dish.
Mostly because I don't like ham.
But, I have a friend that requested this for a dinner we were having so I tried to oblige.
I googled and picked through and adjusted.
And finally landed on this.

I wouldn't change one single thing.

The cheese does leak a bit but the chicken is moist and the crust crisp and the cheese gooey and the ham salty.
Can't ask for anything else.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Serves 4
*tip! the breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to a day
Found somewhere online!
25 Ritz crackers
4 slices hearty sandwich bread, white or wheat (I used homemade)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8-16 thin slices deli ham (about 8 ounces)
8 thick-ish slices of Swiss cheese
4 thick boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds total)
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450*. Pulse the crackers and bread in a food processor until they are coarsely ground. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse to incorporate together. Transfer the crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs are lightly browned. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow baking dish. Leave the oven on.

Top each ham slice with one slice of cheese. If your ham slices are too smile, shingle two ham slices on top of each other to create a larger slice and roll the cheese up in that. Roll tightly and set aside. 

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Cut a pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and stuff each pocket with 2 ham and cheese rolls. Pull the top flap of chicken over the rolls and press to seal (you can use a toothpick to gently secure the pocket edge, if you like). Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the stuffed chicken, covered, for at least 20 minutes.

In another shallow dish or pie plate, beat the eggs and mustard. Place the flour in a third shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Working with one stuffed chicken breast at a time, coat the chicken lightly with flour and then dip in the egg mixture, covering both sides. Dredge the chicken in the toasted bread crumbs, pressing lightly to help the crumbs stick to the chicken. (The breaded chicken can be refrigerated covered for up to 1 day.)

Transfer the chicken to a lightly greased rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until the bottom of the chicken is browned, about 10 minutes. Move the chicken to a middle rack in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400 (you don't have to leave the chicken out of the oven while the temperature adjusts, just put it back in the oven and then reduce the temperature), and bake until golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (160 degrees on an thermometer), about 25-30 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. 

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