Friday, October 22, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Part I, A Disaster In The Making

I looked all over the internet for chicken cordon bleu recipes, and found one for roll-ups.  Usually you cut the chicken breast and insert the ham and cheese; for these, you pound the chicken and roll it around the ham and cheese.  Remind me never to do this again.  These pain-in-the-necks better taste good.  Just sayin'.

The recipe, as modified by me:

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
     (sudden realization that I left these out.......)
8 slices swiss cheese
8 slices cooked ham
3/4 cup panko (and more for when you roll them up and everything falls off)
1/4 cup Eggbeaters
1/2 tsp thyme
1 T parmesan cheese
Lots of toothpicks

Bake 30-35 minutes at 350, put 1/2 slice of cheese on top and return to oven for 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese.  (I am personally not going to do this because I doubled the cheese on the inside of the rolls)

First, gather the ingredients:

Trim all the icky parts off of the chicken, lay between sheet of plastic wrap, and pound flat.  This is where it all started to go wrong.  The first chicken breast pounded flat easily enough, but fell apart when I picked it up.

The next step was recommended in lots of the comments to the original recipe.  I will never trust those people again.  The original recipe called for rolling everything up first, then rolling in breadcrumbs.  Many reviewers suggested breading the chicken first.  Also, normally when I bread something I put it in flour first, then egg, then breadcrumb.  Not this time.  That would have been a great idea, though, if I'd remembered to do it.  Regular breadcrumbs instead of panko might have been a better idea, too.  It's too late for that, so just run the chicken through the Eggbeaters, then coat them in panko seasoned with parmesan cheese and dried thyme (my additions to the original recipe).

Now it got really challenging.  Place 2 slices of ham and 2 slices of cheese on the panko-laden disintegrating chicken breasts.  Now just try to roll them up.  This is practically impossible to do without all the filling sticking out.  Make sure you have plenty of toothpicks.  I used six toothpicks on the first chicken breast, and now I can only find two of them.  When the coating all sticks to the aluminum foil, roll the toothpicked-together, floppy mess into some more panko and try to make it stick. 

Scrape up the parmesan-laden panko from the aluminum foil and mash it onto the rolled-up chicken breasts.  Some cooking spray might have helped keep everything from adhering to the aluminum foil, but again, it's too late for that.

The foil on the baking pan is sprayed with cooking spray, thankfully.  These are resting in the refrigerator, waiting until time to put them in the oven.  Stay tuned for Part II!  I'm going to clean up now.


  1. HA! I'm sorry you had such a hard time with this. I used to make it a lot, but I just pounded the breasts, (sounds a little naughty but not in a nice way, right?), put a slice of ham, added a slice of cheese, rolled it up, dipped in egg wash, roll in bread crumbs.

    much easier than this sounds...but I bet they were SOOOOOOO good!

  2. Karyn, your humor just slays me. I mean if you are trying to be funny it sure works for me. I'm a fan of yours. If however you are serious then I'll stop smiling now.

  3. Susan that is how the original recipe said to make them but did I listen?

    Anonymous - it wasn't meant to be funny, per se; sometimes it just turns out that way. :)

  4. I love how you are taking pictures of the "after" in the sink. :) I haven't made Cordon Blue because of all the pounding action. I do love to eat it though! I bet Greg was very happy.