Friday, April 13, 2012

A Rainbow on My Plate

If Cordon Bleu were actually blue, this would have made for an even more colourful meal than it already was.

Although I am late in posting this, I made it as my first challenge as part of the Gutsy Cooks Club put together by Monica of SweetBites. I joined  because I think it is awesome to be pushed to create dishes I might not have even thought to make otherwise. Every week there are a few suggestions and it looks like variety is also considered.

I would have been too intimidated to make chicken cordon bleu completely on my own, but it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I would definitely recommend it, if you haven't made it before! Although I would recommend making more than one at a time... However, I had one piece of chicken in the freezer and was cooking for one, so that's how I did it.

Before getting into preparing the chicken itself, I prepared the creole seasoning, using fresh selfmade onion powder. I'm mostly mentioning this separately because it looked so lovely. I had everything but the cayenne pepper at home already, so I measured out a half of each ingredient, threw it into an extra jar I had and shook it up.

Now onto the recipe, as adapted from Emeril's. If you've got everything out and ready I'd say 40 minutes is more than enough time to prepare this, start to finish.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients (written per serving since I cooked for 1):
- 1 chicken breast
- A pinch or 2 each of salt and pepper
- 2 slices of emmentaler (swiss cheese or something similar) - yes, it looks like more slices in my picture - if  cutting the cheese from a block yourself, you do have to judge how much you need to cover your chicken piece
- 2 thin slices of Schwarzwälder Schinken (black forest ham) - or double if you won't be able to make it twice over with each slice

For Breading:
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1.5 tsp. Creole Seasoning
- 1 egg
- A splash of milk (probably optional)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used a leftover breadcrumb-ground almond mix from sprinkling on pasta)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil


1. Slice chicken breast in half lengthwise, place each half between 2 layers of plastic wrap (I'll admit that I used aluminum foil because that's what Johannes had wrapped the chicken up in to freeze it) and pound it to about half it's original thickness using a meat mallet, the bottom of a cup or whatever that weird, wooden, star shaped thing is in my kitchen.

2. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the inner side of each piece of chicken. Now as a matter of personal preference you can layer the cheese and ham in either order on your pieces of chicken (really - in the written recipe they go cheese first and in the video ham - next time I'll try it so it'll lay ham-cheese-ham-cheese). 

Assembly Diagram
3. Tucking in any overhanging cheese and ham so it won't burn onto your pan, fold the layers together so everything is tucked into a little chicken sandwich and secure it with a couple toothpicks for easier coating and frying. If, like at my place, you're down to your last toothpick - I'd still use it, I tucked it into the thinnest part of my chicken and handled it as carefully as possible after that.

4. Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a baking sheet and get ready to dip!

5. Prepare 3 shallow bowls (or deeper plates): the first with a mixture of flour and 1tsp. of the creole seasoning, the second with the egg whisked with a splash of milk and the third with the breadcrumbs and a half tsp. of the creole seasoning. If you're making a maximum of a couple chicken breasts worth, I'd put a little olive oil in your pan now and turn it on to medium heat.

Dip! Dip! Dip!
6. Here's the messy part! Take your stuffed and pinned together chicken breast and roll it around in the flour. Shake off any excess and dip it in the egg. Lastly, generously coat with the breadcrumb mixture and place into the pan.

7. Brown the chicken on the first side (about 4 minutes), then turn over for a further 2 minutes.

8. Transfer the chicken to your baking sheet and bake for at least 4 more minutes. Make sure the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is nice and melty. Remove toothpick(s) and enjoy!


  1. You chicken looks really great! Oh, is your spice jar a little baby food jar? I really love it!

    1. Thanks a lot. And no, no babies around here. I think it was some kind of vegetable spread (mashed up mixed veggie stuff - so, essentially the same thing but made for adults to put on bread). I was pretty excited to see another grad. student taking part in these challenges!