Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

With this recipe, I was more excited about the methods used (buttery, crunchy homemade bread crumbs and a great way to stuff chicken), but even better was that the end result was really, really tastey.

This recipe came from the creators of America's Test Kitchen (ATK). Basically, these people do all of the experimenting, testing, and tweaking of recipes that the average home cook doesn't have the time or energy to do. Many times their recipes are a bit more complicated, but I have yet to make something that wasn't as good as they'd promised.

This chicken is no different. From the crunchy, buttery crust to the ingenious way of stuffing the chicken, I was really happy with this recipe. I love that instead of pounding chicken breasts, rolling them up, and stuffing them with a million toothpicks - the smarty pantses over at ATK realized you could just cut a deep pocket in each chicken breast and stuff it full of yummy goodness. This method could definitely create a brand new recipe with your own creative stuffing ideas.

If you're looking for a classic "go-to" chicken recipe that's easy to make and almost fool-proof, then here you go. :)

Chicken Cordon Bleu

25 Ritz crackers - about 3/4 of a sleeve
4 slices hearty sandwhich bread
6 T. butter, melted
8 thin slices deli ham (ATK recommends Black Forest Ham...I couldn't find that and used maple brown sugar ham and it was still amazing! Just use what you can find)
2 C. shredded swiss cheese
4 boneless chicken breasts
3 eggs
2 T Dijon mustard
1 C all-purpose flour

To make the bread crumbs, adjust the oven racks to lowest and middle positions and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pulse crackers and bread in food processor until coarsely ground. Drizzle in butter and pulse to incorporate. Bake crumbs on a rimmed baking sheets on the middle rack, stirring occasionally, untl light brown - 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow dish. Leave the oven on.

Top each ham slice with 1/4 cup of swiss cheese and roll tightly. Set aside. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Cut a deep pocket into the thickest part of the chicken breast and stuff with 2 ham-and-cheese rolls. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate at least 20 minutes.

Beat eggs and mustard in a second shallow dish. Place flour in a third shallow dish. One at a time, coat the stuffed chicken breasts lightly with flour, then into the egg mixture, and dredge in the bread crumbs - pressing to adhere. (Breaded chicken can be refridgerated, covered, for one day if you'd like to make it ahead) Transfer chicken to a clean baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack until the bottom of the chicken is golden brown - about 10 minutes. Then move the baking sheet to the middle rack and continue to bake until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature registeres 160 degrees - about 20 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let the chicken rest about 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


  1. great recipe but you need to cook chicken to 165

  2. If you cook them in the oven to 160 the temp will rise to at least 165 as they rest. If you cook them to 165 you risk having dried, overcooked chicken.