Chicken Cordon Bleu: A Delicious French Classic

Step into the world of classic French gastronomy with our take on the timeless Chicken Cordon Bleu. This beloved dish, with its tender chicken, savory ham, and luscious Swiss cheese, has graced tables with aplomb, from Parisian bistros to home kitchens worldwide.

But beyond the classic, our guide will lead you through a myriad of mouthwatering variations that promise to elevate this staple to new heights of flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, these twists on the traditional recipe will inspire your culinary journey and bring a touch of French elegance to your dining experience. Join us as we unwrap the secrets to perfecting and personalizing your very own Chicken Cordon Bleu.

What is Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken cordon bleu is a dish that consists of chicken breast that is pounded thin, then stuffed with ham and cheese, rolled up, and breaded before being baked or fried until golden brown. The name cordon bleu translates to “blue ribbon” in English, which is an honor given to individuals or dishes that are of the highest quality. The dish is typically served with a side of vegetables or salad, and it’s often paired with a white wine, such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

A Brief History of Chicken Cordon Bleu

While chicken cordon bleu may be associated with French cuisine, its origins are a bit unclear. Some say that it was first created in Switzerland in the 1940s, while others believe that it was invented in France during the same time period. Regardless of its exact origins, chicken cordon bleu quickly became a popular dish in both France and Switzerland, and it has since spread to other parts of the world.

Origins of the Name

The term “cordon bleu” is French for “blue ribbon,” which is a symbol of excellence and distinction. The term is often used in the culinary world to refer to dishes that are of the highest quality and sophistication. In fact, the term “cordon bleu” has been used to describe a prestigious cooking school in France since the early 1900s.

Origins of the Dish

The exact origins of chicken cordon bleu are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Switzerland in the 1940s. The dish was likely created as a way to use up leftover chicken and ham, which were common ingredients in Swiss kitchens at the time. The first known mention of chicken cordon bleu in a cookbook was in a French cookbook published in 1964.

Popularity of the Dish

Chicken cordon bleu quickly became popular in both Europe and the United States. It was often served in high-end restaurants and was a favorite of dinner party hosts looking to impress their guests. In the 1970s and 1980s, chicken cordon bleu was a staple on the menus of many American chain restaurants, including TGI Fridays and Applebee’s.

How to Make Chicken Cordon Bleu

Creating a delicious Chicken Cordon Bleu at home is easier than you might think. With some basic ingredients and this simple step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to put together a delectable French-inspired meal that will impress your guests and satisfy your family. Let’s get started on this culinary journey to make a classic dish that’s perfect for any occasion.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ryan Yates
Indulge in the classic elegance of our Elevated Chicken Cordon Bleu, a dish that promises to bring a touch of gourmet to your home dining experience. Follow our detailed recipe below for a perfectly golden, crunchy exterior with a succulent, cheese-filled center that's sure to impress at any table.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • Kitchen mallet or rolling pin
  • Plastic Wrap:
  • Toothpicks
  • Three shallow dishes
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Meat Thermometer

Ingredients
  

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of quality Black Forest ham
  • 4 slices of aged Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour for a finer coat, use cake flour
  • 2 large eggs organic preferred, beaten
  • 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika for added color and flavor
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese mixed with breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley finely chopped (for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Lay a chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with a kitchen mallet until approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  • Season both sides with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and a dash of paprika.
  • On each chicken breast, place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese. Roll up tightly, folding in the edges, and secure with toothpicks.
  • In three separate dishes, place flour, beaten eggs, and a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Dredge each chicken roll in flour, dip in egg, and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture until well coated.
  • Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  • Let rest for 5 minutes, remove toothpicks, and garnish with fresh parsley before serving.

Notes

For an even more refined taste, consider using prosciutto instead of ham.
Wrapping the chicken in cling film and chilling for 30 minutes before baking can help the shape hold and make for easier handling.
For a creamier center, add a thin layer of Dijon mustard over the ham before rolling.
Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or a light salad to complete the meal.
For an even more refined taste, consider using prosciutto instead of ham.
Wrapping the chicken in cling film and chilling for 30 minutes before baking can help the shape hold and make for easier handling.
For a creamier center, add a thin layer of Dijon mustard over the ham before rolling. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or a light salad to complete the meal.
Keyword Baked Chicken Casserole, Black Forrest Ham, Chicken Breast, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Ham, Stuffed Chicken, swiss cheese

Savoring the Variations on Chicken Cordon Bleu

hot and savory chicken codon bleu

The Chicken Cordon Bleu is a dish that resonates with the elegance of French cuisine while being deeply embedded in the comfort food category. Traditionally, it’s a roulade of chicken wrapped around ham and Swiss cheese, then breaded and pan-fried, baked, or deep-fried. However, this classic dish is open to interpretation, and with a few creative tweaks, you can transform it into a personalized gourmet experience.

Creative Twists on Meat and Cheese

  • For the Meat: Swapping ham for prosciutto or bacon can introduce a new dimension of smokiness and texture to your Chicken Cordon Bleu. The saltiness of prosciutto and the crispiness of bacon after baking are delightful contrasts to the tender chicken.
  • For the Cheese: While Swiss cheese is traditional, trying different cheeses like smoky Gouda, sharp cheddar, or stretchy mozzarella can cater to different tastes and make the dish more versatile. Each cheese brings its own unique flavor and melting characteristics, which can change the profile of your dish.

Enhancing the Breadcrumb Mixture

  • Herbs and Spices: Incorporating garlic powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning into your breadcrumb mixture can significantly enhance the flavor. These spices complement the chicken and cheese, adding depth with every bite.
  • Breadcrumb Varieties: You might also consider using seasoned Panko breadcrumbs for a lighter, crunchier crust, or even mixing in some crushed nuts for an unexpected twist.

Perfecting the Sauce Pairing

  • Creamy Mushroom Sauce: A mushroom sauce, rich with the earthiness of mushrooms and a hint of cream, can be a luxurious addition to drizzle over your Chicken Cordon Bleu. It’s perfect for adding a robust flavor that marries well with the dish’s textures.
  • White Wine Sauce: Alternatively, a white wine sauce made from a reduction of chicken stock, white wine, and a touch of cream offers a bright and acidic complement that cuts through the richness of the cheese and meat.

By exploring these variations, you’re not just serving a meal; you’re crafting an experience that invites conversation and admiration from your diners. The Chicken Cordon Bleu becomes more than just a dish; it becomes a showcase of your culinary flair and adaptability.

And if your culinary curiosity is piqued, venture into another realm of French cooking with Duck Confit. This dish, known for its tender, fall-off-the-bone duck meat with a crisped exterior, is a testament to the time-honored traditions of French gastronomy. Like Chicken Cordon Bleu, Duck Confit offers a rich tapestry of flavors and a delightful contrast in textures that can elevate any dining occasion to a celebration of taste.

In the end, whether you stick to the time-honored recipes or branch out with your own interpretations, dishes like Chicken Cordon Bleu and Duck Confit stand as pillars of French culinary excellence, offering endless opportunities for customization and enjoyment.

FAQ’s

Is chicken cordon bleu difficult to make?

While chicken cordon bleu requires some basic cooking skills, it’s not particularly difficult to make. The key is to pound the chicken breasts thin so that they cook evenly and to secure the filling with toothpicks so that it doesn’t fall out.

Can I use a different type of cheese in chicken cordon bleu?

Yes, you can use any type of cheese that you like in chicken cordon bleu. Some popular options include Gouda, cheddar, and mozzarella.

Can I make chicken cordon bleu ahead of time?

Yes, you can make chicken cordon bleu ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to cook it. If you’re freezing it, be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

Can I bake chicken cordon bleu instead of frying it?

Yes, you can bake chicken cordon bleu instead of frying it. Baking is a healthier option and can be just as delicious as frying. Simply place the breaded chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

What sides go well with chicken cordon bleu?

Chicken cordon bleu pairs well with a variety of sides, including roasted vegetables, steamed asparagus, mashed potatoes, or a green salad.

Is chicken cordon bleu gluten-free?

Chicken cordon bleu is not gluten-free as it contains breadcrumbs, which are typically made from wheat flour. However, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or almond flour as a substitute if you need to make it gluten-free.

Conclusion

Chicken cordon bleu is a classic French dish that is both delicious and elegant. While the dish may seem complicated at first glance, it’s actually quite easy to make and can be customized to suit your tastes. Whether you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or simply want to indulge in a fancy meal at home, chicken cordon bleu is sure to delight your taste buds.

This article was reviewed and published by Ryan Yates, Culinary Expert with over 15 years of experience in elevated cooking techniques. This process was tested in a working commercial kitchen that Ryan manages as a Professional Chef.

Note: This article was crafted with the primary intent of educating and assisting our readers. We ensure that our content is backed by research and expertise. For more culinary insights, stay tuned to the Authentic Hospitality blog.


We value your feedback! If you found value in this article or have any questions, please subscribe or leave a comment below. Our team, including Ryan Yates, will be more than happy to engage and assist.

This article was reviewed and published by Ryan Yates, Culinary Expert with over 15 years of experience in elevated cooking techniques. This process was tested in a working commercial kitchen that Ryan manages as a Professional Chef.

Note: This article was crafted with the primary intent of educating and assisting our readers. We ensure that our content is backed by research and expertise. For more culinary insights, stay tuned to the Authentic Hospitality blog.


We value your feedback! If you found value in this article or have any questions, please subscribe or leave a comment below. Our team, including Ryan Yates, will be more than happy to engage and assist.

Ryan Yates