While the name Chicken Cordon Bleu sounds very French, the dish has origins in Switzerland. The base of the recipe is a schnitzel or breaded chicken breast.
The origins of this schnitzel recipe date back to the 1940s and it was first mentioned in a cookbook in 1949. The earliest reference to chicken cordon bleu in America is in the 1960s.
Comfort food is subjective, though in my mind this recipe is a dose of vintage comfort food. Everyone’s idea of comfort food is different.
Some reach for ice cream, some fried foods, and for others, it’s sweets in the form of cake, cookies, or pie. When my kids are in need of comfort food, they often ask for my chicken cordon bleu. Its cheesy center will make anyone happy.
This recipe came about because there used to be a meat market in town that sold a variety of stuffed chicken breasts. Our supermarket sells them too, but the ones at the specialty store are the ones my husband recalls.While the name Chicken Cordon Bleu sounds very French, the dish has origins in Switzerland. The base of the recipe is a schnitzel or breaded chicken breast. #dinner
When I was shopping there one day I noticed they were $7.99 and thought to myself that I could make them. Especially when I can buy a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts for around $4.00 a pound. So I set out to make them.
The first time I made them my husband asked me if I broke down and splurged. I told him no, I made them. He did not believe me until I told him to watch out for the toothpicks.
Yes, I left them in the first time I made them. Probably the second time too. Now, since I’ve made them so often, I feel comfortable removing them before serving. They won’t unroll and spill out the filling.
Once you get the hang of making a stuffed chicken breast you’ll no doubt want to try other combinations. In this recipe, the traditional cheese to use is Swiss. On a rare occasion, I don’t have Swiss cheese on hand, I’ll substitute provolone.
The only thing I would caution is not to overstuff before you roll it up. It will make keeping it together more difficult. It’s also an impressive dish for company. Your goal is a delightful swirl of ham and cheese inside the chicken breast.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
- 4 slices Swiss cheese, thin slices
- 8 slices deli ham, I use pre-packaged honey ham variety
- 1 egg, beaten
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups Italian breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small baking dish place egg and beat lightly. In a separate bowl, gently mix melted butter with breadcrumbs until breadcrumbs are moist.
- On a plastic cutting board or parchment, assemble chicken. Lay chicken breast flat and top with one slice of cheese and two slices of ham on top. Roll chicken from top to bottom and secure with toothpicks. You should need no more than 3 or 4.
- Gently dip the chicken roll into beaten egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture, coating generously. Place into ungreased baking dish. Repeat until all are completed.
- Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until juices run clear.
- Remove toothpicks before serving.
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Originally published January 18, 2018; Updated October 25, 2020