Chicken Cordon Bleu. Sounds pretty fancy, doesn't it? I mean, anything with a fancy French "bleu" on the end of its name has to be fancy, right?
Sadly, this is not always true. I've ordered chicken cordon bleu in restaurants that was nothing more than a dry grilled piece of chicken with a slab of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese apathetically thrown on top. Talk about blah.
My version is so much better.
My version of chicken cordon bleu is fit for Napolean himself. Fit to be served on fancy French china with fancy French wine and finished off with a fancy French dessert.
Or served on a bed of greens, if that's the kind of thing you're into.
True, it's basically fried in butter. But that's what makes it good. This is the kind of fried-in-butter food that makes you want to quote Julie Powell and claim that the day there is a meteorite rushing toward the Earth and we have thirty days to live that you are going to spend it eating butter.
Well maybe not butter itself so much as things fried in butter. But that's just me.
But the point, my friends, is that you need to make this. Stat. With salty, smokey prosciutto and creamy Swiss cheese that melts all over the pan and gets brown and crispy and makes you just want to spend every day browning cheese in butter and eating that all by itself... this recipe will you make you forget you ever tried that lame, flavorless chicken cordon bleu. Now go and make it. Thank me later.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
yields 4 servings
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced in half)
salt and pepper
4 slices proscuitto
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon butter
16 toothpicks, potentially more
1. Place each piece of chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken lightly into rectangles about 1/8 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap and lightly season each side with salt and pepper.
2. Place a slice of prosciutto and a slice of cheese on each piece of chicken. Roll one side of the chicken half way and secure with a toothpick or two. Roll the other half of the chicken up over the other side, and secure with more toothpicks. This should create a tight roll.
3. In a medium skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until foaming. Cook the rolls of chicken in the hot butter, turning every 3 minutes to ensure even browning, until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove toothpicks before serving.