The Chicken Cordon Bleu is a poultry dish that is French inspired, and was invented by some chefs in the United States. They were doing this in a bid to try out some European stuffed meat dishes. “Cordon Bleu” actually means “Blue Ribbon” in French. This dish has basic ingredients which include chicken, some cheese such as Swiss or Gruyere and ham or prosciutto. It also uses mostly breadcrumbs for the outer crust. The chicken cordon bleu appears in rolled presentation mostly. Chicken breasts are often pounded flat, then cheese and ham is wrapped in on the inside. This can then be dipped in the breadcrumbs, then grilled, baked or fried.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 8 slices of cheese
- 4 slices of thin ham or prosciutto
- ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
CREAMY DIJON SAUCE
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Have each piece of chicken wrapped over with a plastic cover, then start pounding the pieces with a mallet. Do this until they get to a thickness of about a quarter to a half an inch.
- Sprinkle each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place 2 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on top of each breast. Roll up each breast, and secure with a toothpick.
- Place in baking dish, and sprinkle chicken evenly with bread crumbs.
- Bake for about 30 minuttes or until chicken reaches 165°F. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
CREAMY DIJON SAUCE
- Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the milk and whisk until fully combined.
- Add the mustard, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Slice the chicken and serve with Dijon sauce.
The most commonly used cheese when making the chicken cordon bleu is the swiss cheese. It is the most preferred choice, mostly because of ow well it blends in with the chicken and the ham. You can however use any other available choice of your choice, provided it is from a quality brand. The Sauce
The sauce to be used together with the chicken cordon bleu can be any, so long as it blends well in together. You can actually decide to mix mustard and mayonnaise together, and come up with a perfect sauce.
Different variations of the Chicken Cordon Bleu
There are quite a number of variations of this particular dish. The cordon bleu can be pounded with either pork or veal; then wrapped around a slice of cheese and ham. Next, it is rolled over in bread crumbs, then either pan-fried or baked, depending one’s preference.
What to serve best with the Chicken Cordon Bleu
There are quite a number of dishes that can go well with the chicken cordon bleu. To start with, the most preferred side dish of choice for most people is often rice. However, there are other different options that could go well with this dish. For instance, mashed, roasted or baked potatoes is another very perfect choice that you could decide to go for. Also, you can serve it with pasta, and have the chicken placed either on the side of the pasta, or on top of it.
Brief History and Origin of the Chicken Cordon Bleu
The chicken cordon bleu is believed to have originated from a dish called the veal kiev; in Paris around late 1840s. This dish was dipped in breadcrumbs then fried. Later on, this dish was adapted in Moscow, but the veal was replaced and swapped with chicken.
The Veal Cordon Bleu then made its very first appearance in the United States around 1955. The chicken cordon bleu on the other hand made its very first appearance in the states in the year 1967.
Another interesting thing to note, is that the term ‘cordon bleu’ translates to ‘blue ribbon’ in French. It has its special roots in the French Knights. In the year 1578, Henry III of France actually established that the blue ribbon signified the highest possible order of the knighthood.
Chicken Cordon Bleu FAQ
Is it a must that the chicken cordon bleu is either deep-fried or pan-fried?
Not really, you can actually go for the option of baking this dish if you want to get rid of a few calories. The steps for baking this chicken are explained up above in details, for a dish that is more healthier.
Should I Freeze the chicken? And at what point exactly should I be doing the freezing?
No, you don´t need to freeze the chicken. But it can help ensure that the bread crumbs get well stuck on the chicken, after having it breaded.
Do you have to specifically use the Swiss brand of Cheese?
You do not have to necessarily use the Swiss cheese brand. You can go ahead and use any other brands of cheese, so long as they blend really nicely with the chicken and ham. You can opt for the provolone, mozzarella, cheddar, or any other of your most favorite brand of cheese.
Fun Facts about the Chicken Cordon Bleu
There are quite a number of interesting facts about the chicken cordon bleu. Listed below are some of these fun facts:
- There are quite a number of dishes form different regions of Europe that share some characteristics with the Chicken Cordon Bleu. Some of these countries that have roll ups of meat and roulades in their cuisines include France, Germany and Italy. Almost all of them are based on either chicken or veal; being wrapped around and stuffed with some cheese and another meat such as ham, or browns.
- The National Cordon Bleu Day is celebrated on the 4th of April every year.
- The very earliest reference to the veal cordon bleu was published in the year 1958, in the Los Angeles Times.
- The dish did not exactly originate from the prestigious schools of Cordon Bleu European cooking schools, as many have always thought. It is however not so clear as to who was the first person to name the dish ‘chicken cordon bleu’ and also prepare the meal.