I was inspired this week by the cool and stormy weather we have had in San Francisco. I hope you will be able to appreciate this cozy recipe that has proven to be enjoyed year-round. Chicken Cordon Bleu is a traditional American recipe that I know everyone will love. It does take a few extra minutes to prepare but it well worth the effort…not to mention the techniques you will learn to use in your dinner repertoire.
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mushroom Cream Sauce and
Warm Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Salad
|Chicken Breasts||4 ea.|
|Dijon Mustard||½ teaspoon|
|Sliced Ham||4 slices (Black Forest or Boiled Ham, Honey not recommended)|
|Sliced Cheese||4 slices (Swiss or Gruyere)|
|Bread Crumbs||1 cup (seasoned with salt and pepper)|
|Egg Whites||2 ea.|
|Brussels Sprouts||15-20 ea., thinly sliced|
|Bacon||3 slices, diced|
|Chicken Stock||½ cup|
Mushroom Cream Sauce
|Chicken Stock||¾ cup|
|Garlic Powder||1/8 teaspoon|
If you have read my blog before you know that I suggest that you prepare all of your ingredients before you start cooking. In that case, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and then let’s start with the chicken.
You will need to pound your chicken breasts to about ½“ thick using a mallet(use a wine bottle if you don’t have a one!). The reason for pounding is both to enlarge the breast and make it easier to roll into a roulade filled with ham and cheese. Once your breasts are pounded thin, spread them with a thin layer of Dijon mustard using a brush. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt and pepper. Place a piece of cheese, followed by a piece of ham on the chicken, making sure they don’t hang off the edges. Roll the chicken to encase the ham and cheese and place seam side down.
Next, you can prepare your wash that will help adhere the breadcrumbs to the chicken. I am sure you have used the very messy (and sometimes soggy) method of flour, followed by egg wash, followed by breadcrumbs. I prefer to use egg whites and cornstarch for my wash. The two are mixed together (eliminating the extra step) and create a very crispy exterior of whatever you prefer to fry. Once you have whisked the whites and cornstarch together until homogenous, brush a good amount on the breast, top and bottom. Then, immediately roll into breadcrumbs. This can be done hours before- it will not affect your crispiness.
Then, dice your bacon and sauté in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until crispy. Set aside.
While the bacon cooks slice your Brussels sprouts. I find it very quick and easy to slice them, almost paper thin and quickly sauté them. Holding on to the root of the sprout, slice thinly and discard the root. Set aside.
Slice your mushrooms and measure out your butter and flour for your sauce. Measure your cream and chicken stock…you can even combine them in the same cup if you want to make it easy. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in large saucepan. Cook chicken, starting seam side down until all sides are brown (start seam side down so the roulade does not unravel). After browned, transfer to sheet pan and cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Now you have 25 minutes to finish cooking the rest of your meal. When I make this meal, I take a 15 minute break after I put the chicken in the oven, then come back to make my sauce and sprouts. That way everything is ready at the same time. Depending on your speed in the kitchen, plan accordingly.
While the chicken cooks, melt butter over medium heat in small pot. When butter is bubbling, add flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in chicken stock and cream. Add mushrooms and continue to whisk until thickened. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Keep warm.
Now, grab your bacon saucepan. If it is not still hot, reheat until sizzling again. When ready, add Brussels sprouts. Sauté over medium high heat, while stirring and sprouts will begin to wilt. After 90 seconds, add chicken stock, keep stirring and allow stock to evaporate a little bit (about 2 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. I would not recommend cooking these early as they will wilt and turn an ugly green color. It is such a quick sauté that it can be executed in less than 5 minutes.
Your dinner is ready! I prefer to serve the sauce on the side of the chicken (for dipping!) just to prevent it from getting soggy.