Chicken Cordon Bleu

Well get your pinkies out because today we’re gettin’ a little fancy. This post comes to you by request of my dear friend, Stephanie Cowart. Stephanie is known for many things. At present, she is most notably known for working in a super cool country that is not America! She is also known for enjoying games, traveling, A Very Potter Musical, anything else related to Harry Potter, and laughing. She is not, however known for being a graceful loser at Disney Scene It…. I think she has only lost once (and it was to a team that I was on. just saying.)

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sorry, Stephanie, you know I can’t resist bringing this up….
also, for the record, I’m making that weird face because I was laughing.

All gloating aside, Stephanie and I have been through a lot of adventures together and, as do most of my adventures, they usually involved me cooking something. Labor Day weekend of my senior year at Auburn, some camp people all decided to go to Jackson, TN for the second annual Labor Day Camp Friends Reunion (it was also the last, unfortunately…). While we were there, we decided to make a nice dinner and I decided to make Chicken Cordon Bleu, and one bent skillet and one alienated neighbor later, we had a delicious dinner prepared. Stephanie, I hope that you’ll be able to get all of these ingredients…

Chicken Cordon Bleu sounds, looks and tastes like it is really complicated to make. But, the beauty of it is that it is actually fairly simple. A little time consuming until you get the hang of it, but overall, not too difficult. First, here is what you’ll need:

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  • One boneless chicken breast for every person
  • One slice of swiss cheese for every person (I use baby swiss and get it sliced at a #2 thickness at Wal-Mart, you want them to be thick enough to be cheesy but not so thick that they won’t roll up. Basically, just get whatever you want!)
  • One slice of ham for every person the same thickness as the cheese
  • Store bought bread crumbs
  • Parsley
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (or make your own…it’s really easy, I promise)
  • 1/2 lb sour cream
  • olive oil and butter
  • 1 lemon, zested (optional)
  • Garlic (always!)

Pound your chicken breasts (using a mallet, flat skillet, big spoon, etc.) until they are abound 1/2″ thick. (Hint: If you don’t want to be covered in salmonella, potentially, and raw chicken, place each breast in a ziplock bag or between wax paper to pound it out)

Season each piece of chicken with salt, pepper, and some of the chopped parsley; you could also add some lemon zest here, if you want.

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Place one slice of the cheese, and a slice of ham on each piece of chicken and roll them up. When you roll them: each piece will have a pointy end and a blunt end. Let any excess ham and cheese hang off at the pointy end and start rolling there. This will help your chicken make a better “package.” It helps to stick a couple of toothpicks in the ends to hold each roll together. But, if you’re like me, and can never remember to buy toothpicks, you can make it work–just be more careful.

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Once each piece of chicken is rolled up, roll each piece in the bread crumbs, then in the oil, then back in the bread crumbs so that you have a nice coating. You might still see some of the chicken through the crumbs, but that’s fine.
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After you’re done dredging, melt some butter, or pour some olive oil in the bottom of a skillet over medium heat. When the butter or oil is hot, brown each piece of chicken on the entire breaded surface (don’t stand it up on its end, that would make a mess) and place them in a baking dish once they’re browned. This is really quick. DON’T try to actually cook the chicken, we just want a nice crispy coat on each piece. The middle is still cold and raw at this point. Save the drippings in the pan!!
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Put the baking dish in the oven at 350° for about 20-25 minutes.
In the meantime, add the garlic (as much as you want, I usually use a couple of cloves) to the drippings in the pan. Give the garlic a minute or two to cook and add the sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. You want about equal parts of sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. Stir that together and turn the heat down to low so that the sauce can stay warm. If you want, you could also add lemon zest and/or parsley here.
After the 20-25 minutes have passed, remove the baking dish from the oven and spoon some of the sauce over the chicken. Return the chicken to the oven for a few more minutes (maybe 5). Sprinkle some more fresh chopped parsley over the top, and you’re good to go! I serve the rest of the sauce on the side so that anyone can have as much as they want.
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If you’re gonna make your own cream of mushroom soup, I applaud you and here’s how you do it. It’s basically just like making the cheese sauce from the crispitos. You will need:
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Salt and pepper
Chop about 5 oz of mushrooms (I used cremini, or baby bells) into cubes. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat and add the mushrooms and garlic to taste. Once the mushrooms are soft, add about 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until the flour makes a kind of paste on the mushrooms. Add about a cup of milk and stir until all of the flour is incorporated, don’t stop stirring until you have a smooth sauce or you can get clumpy soup… The soup will thicken as it cooks, but you can add milk if you need to make it thinner. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and you’re good to go!
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When I made this last night, I served it with brown rice and roasted asparagus.

For the rice, I melted about 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and sautéed the rice with a chopped onion and two cloves of garlic minced over medium heat. When the rice was brown, I added 1 tablespoon of chicken base (which is like bouillon, but a little stronger) and 3 cups of hot water. I stirred this over medium heat and just let it sit for a while. Rice is kind of my nemesis. It’s easy to make it bland and can be inconsistent for me when I make it flavorful. I think it’s just because I get bored looking at it. Parboiled rice is easier to pay attention to, but I’ve had some weird results when I used parboiled rice, you have been warned. I just kept adding water to the rice while I was cooking until the end. When I was about ready to serve, I let the water boil off, seasoned with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice (be careful with the lemon juice because it can overpower the rice for some nastiness…) and let the rice cook after the water boiled off for a while.

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For the asparagus, I just poured olive oil over the top of them seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon zest and baked them at 350° with the chicken for about 15-20 minutes. Just watch the asparagus so they don’t get too done. They look ugly when they are overcooked.

And I’ll leave you with something to *hopefully* look forward to. Earlier this month, I got to go on a week long medical mission trip to Honduras. You can check out our blog from the trip here. While I was there, I got to learn how to make some of the local cuisine! I’m going to be practicing this month and hopefully next month, I’ll have some exciting Honduran food to talk about!
Til next time,
Griffin
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About griffcollins
I'm trying to follow the Great Physician while learning to be a physician. I also like to cook every now and then, and I love watching 30 Rock.

One Response to Chicken Cordon Bleu

  1. valisa schmidley says:

    Gonna make this for the family, Griffin, while Alex and Carson are both home this summer! Jeff will have to skip his other two meals to counteract the fat in the cheese/ham. I enjoy reading your blogs, and I love that you are so “evolved”. : )

    You have your Mother’s considerable culinary talents… and that’s saying something! Love to you at med. school. We think of you so often.

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