Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu 42, Down.... Set... Cranberry Chutney

Good news fellow readers- I have been stressed out. Which is not so good, but at the same time very good, because when I'm stressed I go into a cooking frenzy. My week is finally starting to open up- so get ready for a ton of posts in the next week.

Super Bowl Sunday- was unfortunately... boring (BOO PACKERS AND GO BEARS!).

However, it was mostly due to the fact that I'm now currently in the midst of the busiest week of my entire semester and also having to endure the worst half time performance every by the Black Eyed Peas. Unfortunately, I had to stay in to prepare for my tests, midterm, photoshop project- you get the picture. So, I made the most of it!

My mom always used to buy pre-made chicken cordon bleu packages that she would just throw in the oven for a quick dinner, and they were one of my childhood favorites.

True or False- you would think that chicken cordon bleu would be very intense and require a lot of work

FALSE!- One of the easiest chicken meals I have made yet- with one damn good kick in flavor. Also paired with this cranberry chutney recipe and it was the perfect combination.

Flatten the chicken, place ham and cheese in the center, roll, and bread it- throw it the oven, and you are done! It took about 15 minutes just to prep.

There is a panko-bread crumb layer on the outside of the chicken- it's almost exactly the same as the chicken fingers. Make sure to use panko- this is what gives the chicken its crunchy texture. Apparently adding the melted butter to the crumb bowl intensifies the crunch- which actually worked!

Also- don't get me wrong, I love sour/tart foods- but my initial batch of the cranberry chutney was bitter to the extreme. But, I stayed patient and added sugar little by little and finally got the perfect sour/sweet ratio. Lesson of the day- don't give up and try to play with it. Sometimes you make it better than the original recipe

Flatten your chicken using a mallet, rolling pin- or like me you can take your aggression out by using your fist like me. My mom said what are you boxing with chickens for? Apparently, she will now be sending me a mallet in my next care package.

Just make sure you clean whatever you use because of the salmonella.

Prosciutto can be very expensive, so don't buy the pre-packaged unless you are going to use it for a couple recipes for that week. It's cheaper to go to the deli counter and ask for a couple of very thin slices. I got 5 slices for $2.00. Not too bad- since it's usually $10 a lb for domestic. My local grocery store doesn't carry the imported which can be up to $20 a lb.

However, personally because of my Italian blood- there is no true substitute that is as savory. If you've never had it- it's like a salty very light ham that literally melts on your tongue.

Also- if you are on a budget instead of using Gruyere cheese (similar to Swiss cheese), I used a Kraft Italian Cheese blend. Some other reviews suggested to try a Cheddar if you don't enjoy a Hard Swiss/Parmesan like taste.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 slices of Prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup of Kraft Italian-blend Cheese (or cheddar/swiss/sharp cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter- melted
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Place the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and using your fist or mallet- lightly pound until chicken is about 1/4 inch thick.
3. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Lay two slice prosciutto on topside of chicken as well as scatter the 1/4 cup of cheese on top.
4. Roll chicken up like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap- it will look like a log. Twist the ends so the chicken is tightly wrapped in middle.
5. In three bowls prepare:
A. Flour- seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper
B. Eggs- beaten also season with salt and pepper
C. Combine the panko bread crumbs with thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and melted pepper.
6. Carefully remove chicken from plastic wrap. Lightly dust chicken in the flour mixture
7. Dip chicken into the beaten eggs. Then gently cover in the crumb mixture. Make sure chicken is completely covered.
8. Place in baking pan lightly coated with olive oil.
9. Bake initially for 25 minutes- (mine ended up taking 40 minutes but I had a fairly large chicken breast). The crumbs should be browned and the chicken needs to be cooked through.

Cranberry Chutney

2 cups frozen cranberries
1/2 cup full-body red wine ( I used Cardiff- Cabernet Sauvignon)
1/2 cup of sugar
freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine ingredients over low/medium heat for 10/15 minutes. Cook until cranberries are tender but not popped or falling apart.

Bon Appetite!
Chef Maggie


  1. Mmmm..this looks and sounds delicious! :)

  2. Nothing can beat homemade food including Gordon Bleu. I have made it couple of times and I agree with you it is very easy and it is sure worth the preparation time. You made such beautiful pieces of chicken.