No toothpicks and no frying required, Chicken Cordon Bleu is either a versatile dish on its own or a perfect match for lasagnas, pastas, green casseroles – you name it. Have these rolls dip in whatever sauce you have on hand, and you’ll be fully covered.
Why do they call it ‘Chicken Cordon Bleu’?
The term “Cordon Bleu” is extracted from the French root, in which “cordon” means “ribbon” and “bleu” means the “blue” color. Blue ribbons were worn by the knights of the highest order of chivalry in the 12th Century. The name “Chicken cordon bleu” was actually adapted to refer to a high quality food with excellent taste that’s made by eminent cooks.
There’s a bit of confusion here: though represented by a French name, this dish was originally a Swiss dish and first mentioned in a cookbook dated in 1949. Not until 1967 was it brought to America where it came to be widely known as “Chicken Cordon Bleu”.
As a result of the above, it stands to reason that Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe has always been mired in the misconception of it being a guide to a 5-star indulgence. Rather than a first-string entrée, this dish is more of a sidekick that will make you look like an exceptional fine dining chef at the family table.
What are the ingredients in Chicken Cordon Bleu?
My Chicken cordon bleu recipe is, hands down, a simple and delicious combination of chicken breasts, ham, Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and bread crumbs. With a crispy exterior, melted cheese in every bite and smoky hot hams right in between, these ingredients just come together to bring you little savory meat logs.
What kind of cheese do you use in Chicken Cordon Bleu?
Chicken Cordon Bleu is traditionally made with Swiss cheese (not such a stretch of the imagination since the dish is rooted in Switzerland, right?). The strong, fruity flavor and slightly sweet, acrid scent of the cheese totally make sense in this dish. Its firm texture with a rather dry mouthfeel afterward doesn’t make it the most appealing candidate to eat fresh as a snacking cheese, so here I 100% agree on its excellence as a melting agent when baked. Hence, Swiss cheese is so mild and savory that there’s barely any chance it could overpower the remaining ingredients in the rolls.
There’s still a softer, silkier, creamier type of Swiss cheese known as Baby Swiss – but this is, I’m telling you, only for when you’re having omelets or frittatas. Baby Swiss would be too gooey and runny when melted in anything-rolls – Chicken Cordon Bleu is no exception, either.
Dissimilar to Swiss cheese, Gruyère cheese is slightly salty in flavor with a distinctive assertive aftertaste, which will fit perfectly in cakes, soups and veal cordon bleu. I wasn’t there for Gruyère cheese, not even once in my life, so I could hardly tell any difference between these two. That said, if there’s a chance you’ve packed Gruyère in your rolls, I’d be more than glad to hear your own insight on the matter.
Monterey Jack cheese:
Well-aged Monterey Jack cheese is semi-firm, mildly sharp, creamy and nutty with a high moisture content. For Monterey Jack’s being easy-melting, I decided to keep it out of my recipe. Guess when it comes to rolls (meat rolls, above all), I’m only fond of something firm and biteable that will leave no gooey gluey mouthfeel afterwards. This is just my own opinion, however – it should by no means be taken as an absolute fact. Your own preference might vary a great deal! ヽ(ﾟ∀｡)ﾉ
Swiss cheese is dreamy enough for Chicken Cordon Bleu, to say the least. But pardon my custom – I couldn’t help myself but adding more Parmesan. Parmesan cheese is, to me, the king of cheese. It delivers a delicious flavor mix of saltiness, bitterness and richness with a rather dry and sharp mouthfeel – I couldn’t even think of resisting!
I always go for Parmesan cheese which is aged at least 1 year old, with a straw shade and a demi-souffle texture. It’s friable and soluble – ideal for either coating the chicken or melting to a perfect smoothness when put to bake.
Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe
Yield 4 servings
Admittedly, roll dishes are not usually my strong suit. I did, however, round this Chicken Cordon Bleu out in a jiffy, which means you can totally do the same, too. Go on and hit that right note!
- 12 skinless boneless chicken breasts (3 oz each)
- 5 oz (6 slices) thinly sliced lean deli ham
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 4.4 oz (6 slices) reduced fat Swiss cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Cooking spray
- 1 tbsp water
How to Make
Make the chicken rolls:
- Dry the chicken cutlets with paper towels then pound them thin to 1/4 inch thick.
- Season the chicken cutlets with salt and black pepper.
- Slice the ham and Swiss cheese slices in halves (you’ll end up with 12 slices of each).
- First, place 1 ham slice on top of every chicken cutlet, followed by 1 Swiss cheese slice and roll them all together. When finished, set the rolls aside with the seam side facing downwards.
Make the coat:
- Whisk together the egg yolks and egg whites along with water in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and the grated parmesan cheese.
- Dip the chicken rolls into the egg wash, then into the breadcrumb mixture.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Grease the baking sheet with butter (or spray with cooking spray).
- Place the chicken cutlets onto the baking sheet, seam side down. Bake for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and cut the rolls into medium-size coils. Bring to serve.
Serving Size 1 roll of chicken cordon bleu
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 11.3 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Unsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 67 mg
Sodium 428 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 17 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.