Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe at bottom.

Miss me? I’ve been in a whirl wind of the engagement party and wedding planning, I've been missing my kitchen for sure. Jim and I just returned from five nights in California where we met with our wedding coordinator and made some large decisions as to where the wedding will be held, who will cater and photograph our celebration, etc. Wheew, I’m wondering if the next nine months are going to be this full. By looking at my work schedule and all that is left to prepare before the wedding, I imagine so.

This may be a season in my life where I call upon some of my “standby” recipes that I feel confident enough whipping out on any given evening instead of spending time to research and “play” in the kitchen. But the flip side is considering the true “therapy” I feel when I’m creating and experimenting. I’m honestly not sure where I will fall on that sliding scale. This is just a warning.

Tonight was one of those nights where I have a ton of “to-do’s” to get through… including unpacking our suitcases and doing laundry. An entirely huge chore in itself and one I loathe. We also returned home to find an entire army of ants that set up headquarters in our kitchen. I must must must go to battle with them tonight. I cannot sleep until I don my pink cleaning gloves and wipe down every surface with pine-o-pine disinfectant.

Knowing I will be busy with household chores from the time I get off work to the time I go to bed, you would think tonight would be a prime evening to pull something easy out of my arsenal of tried and true recipes. But then I wouldn’t be able to blog about it would I?!? A co-worker of mine has a sweet tradition with her kids that she will cook their favorite meal at the end of summer before they go back to school. Her daughter chose Chicken Cordon Bleu this year. I must be a late bloomer since I didn’t hear of this dish until I was out of college. And yet, only ate it for the first time a few years ago. It sounds fancy doesn’t it? Actually this is a fairly simple recipe and can be used as your base formula to be altered and customized in MANY different ways.

I’ve never attempted this reicpe myself, and tonight is NOT the night (for obvious reasons) to attempt to pound out a chicken breast, roll it up, batter and bake or fry it. Nope, tonight I’m taking some of those typical ingredients from Chicken Cordon Bleu and deconstructing it so this becomes another Easy Weeknight Meal for Home With Mandy.

Out of my online research I really like how approachable Kalyn makes her Chicken Cordon Bleu by layering Canadian bacon on top along with some cheese instead of stuffing. I’m going to take this idea and run with it. I also like anothers suggestion of adding a sauce! This is an area I need to work on – sauce making. I like how this Hollandaise Sauce recipe sounds from Sonja Vanderveen at Ramona CafĂ©, found on foodnetwork. Here is also a good basic recipe from Tyler Florence. Based on this quick online inquiry, I have my flavor profile. I know I want a sauce, I know I want to bread my chicken in panko for that light crunch. I don’t want to stuff the chix, I’d rather layer the ingredients on top.

Here is some more reading I did on the topic that helped me form my own HWM Chicken Cordon Blue recipe. (HWM short for Home With Mandy, thanks Leslie for the idea)

Serious Eats talks about Chicken Cordon Bleu


HWM Deconstructed Chicken Cordon Bleu
Makes 2 Servings

Wash and dry 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pound to even thickness.
Season with SPOG (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder)
Brush with Dijon mustard
Roll in Panko breadcrumbs that have been seasoned with salt and pepper (after I made this recipe, I decided in the future to omit this step)
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes in shallow baking dish
Add slices of meat and top with slices of gruyere cheese
Place under broiler for a few minutes to melt and brown cheese
Make Hollandaise sauce in food processor (after I made this recipe, I didn't like it very much and would try another sauce recipe)
Serve CCB alongside steamed asparagus and drizzled with hollandaise sauce.

Okay, so here is how it went...
I washed and dried the chicken, pounded to even thickness.

Then I placed the chicken in a plastic bag along with dijon mustad.

After the chicken marinated in the dijon for about 30 minutes, I coated each piece in panko (Japanese) bread crumbs.

Then I placed these in a small glass baking dish.

Baked in a 350 oven for 30 minutes

The Hollandaise sauce was a sinch to make.

I halved the recipe. Put two egg yolks in my cuisinart mixer.

Next I added a pinch of salt, pinch of white pepper, pinch of smoked paprika, 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce.

1/2 lb clarified butter.

With the blades on, slowly pour in the clarified butter.

Voila! Hollandaise Sauce.

When the chicken was cooked through, I topped them with black forest ham.

Then slices of Gruyere cheese and popped this back in the oven for a few minutes under the broiler.
I simply sauted some fresh asparagus with a touch of olive oil to brown them on all sides.
The chicken tasted so good with the ham and gruyere cheese. The asparagus was a lovely side as well with this dish.

The breading was not that great in this recipe however. There were enough flavors that I don't think you would miss it if it wasn't there. In fact, the breading was more mushy than crunchy anyway. And I must say this was not my favorite Hollandaise Sauce. I had to go back and add more salt, pepper, and papika to give it ANY flavor...and even then it still tasted like unsalted butter. Not good. But hey, it was a filling meal, and one that I will make again and improve upon next time.

1 comment:

  1. I made a grilled chicken cordon bleu but I really like this version that you've done! I'll have to give this a try in the winter months when the grill isn't so accessible. YUM!


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