Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I made my first Chicken Cordon Bleu last night. I've always thought this recipe was way too hard, but I had nothing better to do last night, and we weren't having dinner til after 8:00pm anyway (my parents were coming over for dinner, and they had a high-intensity work-out from 7:00 - 8:00pm believe it or not!), so I figured, "What the hey?"

I got the recipe from - Chicken Cordon Bleu II.

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Pound chicken breasts if they are too thick. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breast within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling, and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl, and coat the chicken pieces.
2. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
3. Remove the toothpicks, and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl, and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over the chicken. Serve warm.

(You'll notice from the following pictures that I did not perfectly follow this recipe; for instance, I couldn't get six chicken breasts to fit in my oven dish, so I just used four.)

First thing's first:I've decided I'm really not fond of pounding poultry. Last night, it was so loud, I was nervous our next door neighbor was going to knock on our door. Ideally, you'd have a box of those really large, sealable bags instead of one flimsy piece of plastic wrap, but I don't live in an ideal world. And I must say... this piece of plastic wrap held up nicely.

Isn't it pretty? The reviews of this recipe suggested using no-water-added ham, but I couldn't find any unless I looked in the deluxe meats section (that's what I call it), and the deluxe meats section is out of my price range.

For some reason, I have "party picks" instead of "toothpicks," so that's why mine are so festive looking. Please, do not be ashamed of regular, non-dyed toothpicks. They will work just as well.

Okay, I forgot to take a picture of the raw chicken covered in the flour and paprika mixture, but that step did transpire, I promise. I also added some garlic powder b/c one reviewer told me to, and I follow orders. Look at how delicious this nicely browned piece of chicken looks! I thought the toothpicks - I mean, party picks - would really hamper the browning, but they didn't. I was able to flip that baby, no problem! (and my nonstick pans have already really disappointed me with the non-long-last-ability of their non-stickiness, that I really didn't care if the party picks wreaked more havoc upon them)

I then followed one main review many of the reviewers suggested. Instead of leaving the poultry in the skillet to fully cook, I popped them in a 350-degree'd oven. I had the butter/oil mixture (that's another review I followed... 3T butter and 3T oil instead of just 6T butter) left to work with for the sauce. In this pic, I had already added 1 cup of white wine... I used Pinot Grigio. Cheap Pinot Grigio. (Also... I doubled the ingredients for the sauce b/c again... reviewers told me to do it.)

I added the heavy cream/cornstarch mixture...

And I took the chicken out of the over after 20 minutes. The chicken was not fully cooked at that point, so I decided to pour all the sauce over it and pop it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Mmmmmmmm..... it was fabu (remember, pronounced: fab-yew!)! It was seriously delicious. I must say... I've come to an epiphany in the past few months. I - and most people, I'll assume - overcook chicken. I have overcooked chicken so many times when following recipes to the dime. For a long time, I thought I just didn't like chicken, but from time to time I would taste really excellent chicken! So lately, I take chicken out when I'm still a tad uncomfortable with it... when I still think there's a chance I could catch ill with salmonella from eating it.

And I haven't regretted it yet! Just as long as there's no visible pink, I go for it.


Midge said...

I got to eat this delish meal and it was scrumcious and filling! Great for a high protein diet. said...

I'm sorry, but you get a D- for presentation. The chicken just doesn't look all that appetizing, regardless of what the first and only other comment says (see Midge comment left). But then again, who am I to say anything about photography or cooking!

Eddy said...

Sorry, Les - the comment from "" is me, your bestest friendest, Edwardo.