Friday, June 11, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

When most people think of chicken cordon bleu, they think of these frozen breaded, uniformed shaped, pressed together chicken breast that you pop in the oven or even fried. Contrary to popular belief, the dish wasn't founded by the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking schools of Europe. In fact, this isn't even a European dish at all but an American one. While no one knows for certain who created the dish, it's thought that a chef that was simply substituting a cheaper cut of meat, chicken, for the Swiss dish of Veal Cordon Bleu which is made in much the same the way.
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a favorite in my house. While I certainly don't make it in the tradition way of breading the chicken before cooking, it's still filled with ham and cheese and rolled up. I also make a sauce out of some white wine and chicken stock and pair really well the dish.

What You Need:

2 chicken breast, butterflied and pounded thin
4 slices of ham
8 tbs shredded Gruy√®re cheese
Salt and Pepper
1/2 c flour
garlic powder
3 tbs white wine
1/2 c chicken stock
2 tbs olive oil
3 tbs butter

What To Do:

After pounding the chicken thin, I'll cut in half so that I get 4 smaller portions out just 2 breast. You can certainly use the entire breast if you so choose, especially if your breast happen to be on the small side. Season both sides of the breast with some salt and pepper and a little garlic powder.

There are two ways to keep the cheese inside of the chicken breast, instead of melting all over the pan. The first way, is to the take a piece of ham, place two tablespoons of the shredded cheese in the center and make an envelope with the ham, packaging up all four sides so that the cheese is contained with in. The second way, is after you place the ham the cheese in the center of the chicken, is to roll up the chicken borritto style. To do this, fold the bottom up, fold the sides in, and roll the chicken the rest of the way up.

Once you have the chicken all rolled up, dredge them in the flour and place into a hot skillet with the olive oil and 2 tbs of the butter. Cook about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how thick your breast are. They should take on a nice brown color. After they're browned, remove them to a platter and deglaze the pan with the white wine and chicken stock. Bring it up to a bubble, then lower to a simmer and return the chicken back to the pan along with any juices that may have collected on the plate. Cover and let cook for another 5 minutes. This assures that the chicken is cooked all the way through, and the cheese is melted, as well as letting the rich flavor of the sauce soak into the chicken. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve.

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