Chicken Cordon Bleu has always been one of my favorite dishes. It seemed so mysterious and luxurious when I was growing up… and when I finally had it I was in love.
Chicken breast pounded thin with layers of Swiss cheese and ham rolled into it… crumbed and baked. Yum! When you cut into it the cheese oozes out and the flavors and textures are amazing. The very cool thing is that can be put together quickly and because the chicken is thin it is finished baking in less than 30 minutes.
The down side of Chicken Cordon Bleu, if there is one, is that it is so….. done. Everyone has made it, you can get it in many restaurants, and I almost expect it to show up at McDonalds in a Happy Meal. I wanted something that reflected this classic recipe but also was a little…. wild.
I used smoky Black Forest ham and Pepper Jack cheese in the filling and I flavored the crumb coating with taco seasoning. While it was baking I put together a cilantro cream sauce and when it all came together?
Wow. Just Wow. The smokiness of the ham and the spicy pepperjack cheese added the southwest flavor that I was looking for. A little spice a little bite…. then the crunchy crumb coating compliments the creamy inside. The sauce pulls it all together.
Deeeeeeeeeeeeeee-licious is what my grandson used to say to me. 🙂 And that describes this perfectly. Give it a try. It is simple, easy, and fantastic.
You can put the chicken together and roll it up to a day before you plan on cooking it. Just cover it well and put it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I’d probably wait to add the crumbs until you are ready to bake. Here are some step by step images that may help explain how to do this.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Southwestern Style
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 slices of deli ham (have them slice it on a #1)
- 8 slices of Pepperjack (sliced on a #2)
- 1 cup Panko
- 2 Tbs of Taco seasoning (1 package or homemade)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting them horizontally almost in two.
- Pound them to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Lay one slice of ham over chicken, and then one slice of cheese over the ham.
- Roll up and secure with two toothpicks.
- Mix the Panko and taco seasoning.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Panko crumbs and taco seasoning mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken breast registers 180F.
Cilantro Cream Sauce
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop cilantro and add it with the cream and cumin to a sauce pan.
- Simmer until reduced by 1/4
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
Spoon the sauce on the plate and then lay the chicken on top of it. Be sure to remove the toothpicks.