Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I've been wanting to try a new dinner recipe for a while, and Nathan really, really likes chicken cordon bleu... so, well, no brainer. I even planned ahead and put some chicken in the refrigerator to defrost last night. (This is a rare occurrence, which is partially why we have lame dinners so often.)

After a bit of poking around on, I settled on this version with a few modifications. I only used 4 chicken breasts but left the amounts of everything else pretty much the same. I used water instead of wine (which may not have been the optimal choice), 2 slices of ham per chicken breast (they were pretty small and very thin), and used half vegetable oil/half butter instead of all butter.

I had no idea what the directions were talking about when they describe how to wrap the chicken around the cheese/ham; I just had Nathan pound the chicken flat, put the cheese/ham on top, and rolled it up (sort of). And then applied toothpicks liberally. There must be a more effective way of doing it, but... it worked, so we'll call it a success.

I made one other modification based on the suggestions in the comments over on allrecipes; after browning the chicken for about 5-7 min or so, I put the pieces in a glass baking dish (9x11) and baked them for about 30 min at 350 F. While they were baking, I finished up the sauce. I chose to do it this way because in the past, my sauces have taken forever to thicken. See yesterday's post with the frosting issue. I was totally expecting a repeat of that. Instead, it thickened up and was ready within 10 minutes. Of course. I just left it on low and stirred occasionally until the chicken was done.

And now, some pictures.

Ready to eat!

 Overall it turned out pretty good, but lacking a little zing. That may have been due to my lazy substitution of water for white wine; I may try apple juice or ginger ale next time instead. I also felt like it needed a bit of salt. (That also might depend on the kind of ham you use. I suspect cheap lunch meat ham is not as salty as real ham.) I might try breading it next time as well, though that might get a bit tricky given the tendency of the pieces to come unrolled when handled too much. We shall see how adventurous I feel. :P

The sauce is definitely a crucial part of this recipe. I promise you, it is worth the calories. Just... try not to think about how it is mostly butter and cream...

My final verdict? It was tasty, and I'll likely make it again, but I will also probably tinker with it some more to make it perfect. The sauce isn't too far off, but the chicken itself is a bit lacking.


  1. It's really hard to make a good Chicken Cordon Bleu at home, so I'm pretty I always have been with your cooking. I use all the time and I have struggled with some of the ways they try go step by step.

    I've used pure unsweetened apple juice as a substitute for wine before, but I've also heard that elderberry juice works really well to...for the darker recipes. Ginger ale is pretty good too...also lemon juice if I remember right. Personally I don't like the taste of the "cooking wines", the non-alcoholic or alcoholic, I just don't think they taste very good.

    Sounds like it was awesome though...well done Bec!

    1. Thanks!

      For the record, the sauce does not reheat very well (or maybe I heated it too fast or something) so this is not as great left over, but I'm still pretty satisfied with it as a first attempt.