Cooking from scratch - Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite "special" recipes to make. I say special, because it certainly isn't frugal, but once a year it is a very nice treat. There are two reasons why I don't make this more often. The first is the cost and the second how time consuming it is. Those things aside, this recipe is absolutely delicious!
4 chicken breasts
12 thin slices of ham
4 slices of American cheese
8 large slices of Gruyere cheese or sharp white cheddar
1/2 bottle of white cooking wine
1 cup bread crumbs
Before I get started I get all my ingredients ready. I slice the Gruyere, I count the ham slices, I beat the egg, I pour the bread crumbs in a bowl, put a pat of butter for each chicken in a large pan and I get my toothpicks ready. Once you get your hands in the raw chicken, you don't want to have to stop and get other food items out. I set everything up in an assembly line fashion in the order I will be using them.
Lay your chicken breast on a cutting board and put a piece of saran wrap over it. This will keep the juice from splattering. Hammer away with a meat tenderizer until it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. The thinner the chicken is the easier it will be to roll up.
Next place 3 slices of ham on the chicken, placed around to cover the entire piece of chicken. Then place a slice of American cheese and a slice of Gruyere cheese. Roll everything up and insert as many toothpicks as needed to make sure it stays in a roll. Dip the entire thing in the egg and then in the bread crumbs and then place in the pan on top of a pat of butter. Do this for each chicken cordon bleu.
Once you have all the chickens in the pan place another slice of Gruyere cheese on top of each one. Then pour the cooking wine into the pan. Place in an oven preheated to 350 and cook for one hour.
On a frugal note, when I went to the store today to buy Gruyere cheese and discovered it was $22 per pound I opted for a cheaper option of sharp white cheddar. It still turned out delicious. I have been told that Swiss cheese is a good alternative in Chicken Cordon Bleu, but since I don't like Swiss, I tried the cheddar.
Chicken Cordon Bleu is great served with cous cous and salad. I pour the pan drippings over the cous cous. No, not very healthy, but oh so good! Enjoy!