My Chicken Cordon Bleu seems to be hitting on a theme at the moment, an impending birthday seems to be triggering a desire to eat and cook retro food, and this recipe joins my recent Bubble and Squeak recipe and a Toad in the Hole recipe. It does make me smile a great deal as this to me smacks of the 1970’s (not that I remember that far back), but in reality a take on chicken cordon bleu is on pretty much every single restaurant menu in Hungary. The dish may have been banished from pretty much every menu in the UK for being to cheesy, see what I did there, but here in Hungary it still commands a place in the hearts of millions, whether it be chicken, pork or even veal people can’t get enough of it.
At the heart of a chicken cordon bleu is a simple chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese but it is nevertheless something both myself and my wife love. I make absolutely no apology for the vast quantity of butter this is cooked in and it really is all required, so if you are on a diet I suggest you run away as fast as you can. If you try and cook this in oil the breadcrumbs will brown before the chicken is cooked. By constantly basting the chicken after flipping it over the meat has stay remarkably juicy and the cheese should just about reach melting point, it should still retain a little form but be pleasantly oozing. Whilst we I am talking about cheese, why a Swiss cheese? Well it just melts to the perfect texture and the sweet almost nutty flavour of Emmental cheese is the perfect foil for the salty ham, I have tried it with a sharp cheddar and it is just far too powerful.
I have seen chicken cordon bleu served with a huge variety of sauces and I have no idea why, if cooked properly a sauce really is not required for me, we have got 175g of butter to play with teeheheheeee… I always serve this with some simple boiled potatoes and what ever green veg we have that is good, as spring has yet to spring I have used garden peas from the freezer that we set aside last year, but have done this with asparagus spears, broccoli, green beans, it’s all good. I make sure I pass the cooked vegetables through the by now almost nutty cooking butter before serving and they pick up all of the flavour and some of the crispy bits of breadcrumbs that have fallen off the chicken cordon bleu. So dated and out of favour maybe, like your author many will say, but still lip smackingly good, most definitely not like your author most will definitely agree 😀
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a retro classic and whilst it may have fallen out of favour in fancy restaurants it is such a simple easy family favourite!
Course Main Course
100gComte Cheese.Or Emmental, grated.
Salt and Pepper.
'Butterfly' the chicken breasts by cutting them in half but not all of the way through, and opening them up so they look like a heart... Aw aint that sweet.
The sandwich each of the butterflied chicken breasts between to sheets of cling film and bash out to form an even thickness with a rolling pin... Awe not so sweet 😉
The chicken breasts should roughly double in area and be between 7-10mm thick.
Cover the cut and bashed side of the chicken breast with the ham and then lay on the cheese.
The ham and cheese you choose will define how much seasoning is required so test a little and add a little salt over the filling if you think it is required.
Fold over the chicken breast so it appears to resemble its original form.
Now we need to 'panne' the chicken breasts, so first into the flour which has been seasoned, then into the egg yolk and then into the bread crumbs.
Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and when it is melted and just beginning to foam add in the chicken. It is important at this stage not to mess with the chicken, allow it to sit for 4-5 minutes.
Check that the chicken has coloured on the cooked side and become golden brown, the flip over and continue to cook on the other side.
Now baste the chicken as it continues to cook with all of that lovely butter, this helps to prevent the chicken form going dry and also cook evenly.
It should take a further 4-5 minutes for the chicken to cook through perfectly, I always use a meat thermometer to check the cooking temperature and remove from the pan at 70°C and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.
This dish is sponsored by butter so what better way to serve it than with buttered boiled potatoes and some peas and we have plenty of butter lying around!
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