Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Well as a few of you know, I'm going back to basics with my culinary escapades. A wise man once said, "you can't build a house without a foundation". My biggest reason for doing this is I need to find some way to cook classic 2 serving dishes in as little as 30 to 45 minutes. Since I've been working extra hours, studying, walking 3 miles, and working out, it's pretty hard to get too fancy. So... What have I been cooking? Last week I made Chicken Cordon Bleu and a mixed greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Nothing says cool winter night like crispy breaded chicken, warm oozing cheese, and sweet sweet ham. That's right ladies, I said ham. You might be saying.. Isn't this hard to make? Doesn't it take a lot of time? So how do you do it? Well I'm gonna tell ya.

  • 4 Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 8 Slices of Deli Counter Swiss Cheese
  • 8 Slices of Deli Counter Cooked Ham
  • 1 Box of Panko Japanese Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt (always kosher or course)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Pieces of Plastic Wrap
  • 3 Small, Shallow Bowls
  • 1 Non-Stick Baking Sheet

Pre-heat your oven for 350 degrees. Lay one chicken breast between the sheets of plastic wrap. Gently pound out the chicken breast evenly with the blunt object of your choosing. You want the breast to be about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken breasts. Add two slices of ham and two pieces of cheese on top of one breast and roll the chicken breast like a burrito. You want to roll it pretty tightly. You don't want cheese oozing outall over the place.

Now make a little assembly line with your bowls. Add the flour to one bowl. Add the eggs to the second bowl and scramble. Add the panko and mix in the salt and pepper in the third bowl. Cover your chicken rolls in a light coating of flour, then egg, then panko. Place the completed chicken cordon bleu on the baking sheet. Get it...assembly line?

Bake the cordon bleues for about 30 minutes or until chicken is done. So here is what you get to learn from this recipe. You learn about pounding out different meats (insert childish laugh here).

Why do you you pound out the chicken breast? It's easier to roll...hello. Another reason to pound out meat, is so it cooks evenly. If you have a odd shaped piece of meat like a chicken breast, the thin part of the breast cooks faster than thick part. It's also easier to handle. That is why you pound it out evenly. You also learned about how to get a thin and even coating. That is why you used the three bowls. The flour sticks to the moisture of the chicken, the egg sticks to the flour to give the coating some thickness, the panko sticks to the egg to give you that lovely crunch crust. This method is used as a standard coating technique in cooking. You could even use this technique to fry chicken. Why did I use panko? I used panko instead of regular bread crumbs because I like the light and flaky feeling of panko. I learned this from the food network one day. In fact, I think it was for a chicken cordon bleu recipe. Use these techniques to make your own stuffed chicken breasts. I like to use bleu cheese and cranberries for a stuffing. I wouldn't use the bread crumb coating for it though. Maybe I'll come up with something else for my next blog entry.

No comments:

Post a Comment