In last week’s “Heroes in the Kitchen” post, Carla Graves shared her story about how cooking has remained a constant through all of her life stages. Family dinners were an important part of her childhood, and Carla has made home cooked meals a priority with her 2 year old son. I asked her to give us one of her favorite weeknight recipes, and she was kind enough to share her Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe. It’s a dish that her mom used to make growing up, so there are a lot of memories associated with it. However, Carla takes a healthier approach to the traditional classic by baking it instead of frying it. Best of all she feels good about serving it to her son, who likes it because of its fancy sounding name (sounds like we have a young epicure!).
I’ll admit that prior to making Carla’s recipe, I had never cooked nor eaten chicken cordon bleu. How un-American is that? Luckily, Carla has helped me fix this situation, and I can proudly call myself an American again. For some reason, I thought this was a fussy dish to make, but it turns out it’s a super simple and delicious weeknight dish. Plus, every kid loves working a meat tenderizer, so definitely let them get in on that action. They can help with the dredging too. Just reminder to disinfect your countertops afterwards in case any chicken juices end up straying.
While the chicken is baking, pull together an easy vegetable side or use those twenty-some minutes to catch up with your family. And then let everyone peek through the oven window in the last minute of cooking to enjoy the sight of all that melting cheese!
What you’ll learn:
- How to tenderize chicken
- How to dredge and bread chicken
You can also see how easy this dish comes together in our video:
- Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless – 1 lb.
- Ham – 4 slices
- Swiss cheese – 4 slices
- Flour – ½ cup
- Salt – ¼ tsp.
- Pepper – ⅛ tsp.
- Eggs – 1 to 2
- Water – 1 tbs.
- Bread crumbs / panko – ½ cup
- Parmesan cheese (optional) – ¼ cup
- Chicken – Slice in half to make them thinner (You can also purchase them this way to save time). Season with salt and pepper. Place them between two sheets of parchment or wax paper. Pound with a meat tenderizer until they are flat and about ¼” thinness. See video here
- Dredging stations – Mix together flour and salt & pepper in one bowl / dish. Whisk together egg and water in second bowl / dish. Mix together bread crumbs and cheese in a third bowl / dish. You can also feel free to add some spices like dried mustard, thyme, or parsley for more flavor
- Preheat oven to 450°. Spray a large non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray
- Place a slice of ham on top of the chicken, then the cheese and roll. Set aside. You can secure them with a toothpick if needed
- Dip the chicken into the flour mixture, then egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs.
- Place chicken onto the baking sheet seam side down.
- Bake about 25 minutes, or until until chicken has reached 165 degrees. Cheese will start oozing out
- Spread some Dijon mustard onto your chicken for another kick of flavor
- Pre-roll everything before dinner and then just pop it into the oven when it’s dinner time