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CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

Crispy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu: A Delightful Culinary Experience

Welcome to a mouthwatering journey with our Crispy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe. This dish combines the tender juiciness of chicken breasts with the rich flavors of Swiss cheese and ham, all wrapped in a crispy Panko breadcrumb coating. Drizzled with a creamy Parmesan mustard sauce, this recipe is easy enough for a weeknight dinner yet elegant enough to impress guests.

Why Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Chicken Cordon Bleu is a classic dish that never fails to impress. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a favorite among many. The crispy exterior, juicy chicken, melty cheese, and savory ham come together harmoniously, creating a memorable dining experience.

Ingredients

For the Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts: Cut in half lengthwise to create 4 thinner pieces.
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper: For seasoning.
  • 2 eggs: Beaten with milk to create an egg wash.
  • 1 tablespoon milk: To mix with the eggs.
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour: For dredging the chicken.
  • 1 1/4 cups Panko bread crumbs: For a crispy coating.
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil: Adds flavor to the breading.
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano: Adds flavor to the breading.
  • 4 slices deli-size baby Swiss cheese: Melty and flavorful.
  • 4 slices deli-style ham: Savory and complements the Swiss cheese.
  • Olive oil: For spritzing on the chicken to enhance crispiness.

For the Parmesan Dijon Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter: The base for the sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons flour: For thickening the sauce.
  • 1 1/2 cups milk: To create a creamy texture.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard: Adds a tangy flavor.
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese: Melty and rich.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley (optional): For garnish.

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Preheat the oven: Set your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pound the chicken: Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken breasts to about 1/2 inch thickness. This makes them easier to roll and ensures even cooking.
  3. Season the chicken: Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Step 2: Set Up the Breading Station

  1. Egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 tablespoon of milk.
  2. Flour dredge: Place the flour on a shallow plate.
  3. Breadcrumb mix: On another shallow plate, combine the Panko bread crumbs, dried basil, and dried oregano.

Step 3: Assemble the Chicken Cordon Bleu

  1. Add cheese and ham: Place one slice of Swiss cheese and one slice of ham on each piece of chicken.
  2. Roll and secure: Roll up each chicken breast tightly and secure with a toothpick.

Step 4: Bread the Chicken

  1. Dip and coat: Dip each rolled chicken bundle into the egg mixture, then coat with flour, dip back in the egg mixture, and finally coat with the Panko breadcrumb mixture.
  2. Place on baking sheet: Arrange the breaded chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spritz with a little olive oil or cooking spray for added crispiness.

Step 5: Bake the Chicken

  1. Bake: Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Tent with foil: Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm while preparing the sauce.

Step 6: Make the Parmesan Dijon Cream Sauce

  1. Melt butter: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add flour: Whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Add milk: Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add mustard and cheese: Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the Dijon mustard and shredded Parmesan cheese. Continue to whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
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Step 7: Serve

  1. Remove toothpicks: Carefully remove the toothpicks from the chicken.
  2. Slice and drizzle: Slice the chicken into rounds, drizzle with the Parmesan Dijon cream sauce, and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley if desired.

Tips for Perfect Chicken Cordon Bleu

Pound the Chicken Thin

Pounding the chicken breasts thin not only makes them easier to roll but also ensures even cooking. A consistent thickness helps avoid undercooked centers and overcooked edges.

Use Freshly Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese melts better and has a richer flavor compared to pre-packaged shredded cheese. It makes a significant difference in the taste and texture of the sauce.

Spritz with Olive Oil

For added crispiness, lightly spritz the breaded chicken breasts with olive oil before baking. This helps achieve a golden, crispy exterior.

Use an Instant-Read Meat Thermometer

Chicken is perfectly cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. An instant-read meat thermometer is a handy tool to ensure your chicken is cooked to the right temperature without overcooking.

FAQs

Can I Prepare Chicken Cordon Bleu Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare Chicken Cordon Bleu ahead of time. Assemble the chicken rolls, bread them, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. When ready to cook, bake as directed.

Can I Freeze Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Absolutely! After assembling and breading the chicken, place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. When ready to cook, bake from frozen at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through.

What Can I Serve with Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Chicken Cordon Bleu pairs well with a variety of sides such as steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, or a fresh green salad. The creamy Parmesan Dijon sauce also complements pasta dishes.

How Do I Store Leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes.

Can I Use Different Types of Cheese?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of cheese. Mozzarella, Gouda, or Provolone can be used instead of Swiss cheese for a different flavor profile.

What If I Don’t Have Panko Breadcrumbs?

If you don’t have Panko breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes as an alternative. Panko, however, gives the crispiest texture.

Conclusion

Crispy Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu is a delightful dish that combines the best of flavors and textures. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion. With its crispy exterior, juicy chicken, savory ham, and melty cheese, all topped with a creamy Parmesan mustard sauce, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. Give it a try and enjoy the culinary experience!