Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
For the Cordon Bleu:
- 3 large chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise (to form two thinner chicken breast cutlets)
- 12 slices deli ham
- 1 cup bread crumbs (I used Special K crushed flakes--tasted good to me!)
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 to 1/2 pound thinly sliced swiss cheese
For the Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules (or 1 bouillon cube, crushed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter. Set aside.
Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the 9X13-inch dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham and top with 2 slices of swiss cheese, shingling across the chicken breast to make sure the entire chicken breast is covered with ham and cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
Bake the chicken for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely, the cheese is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden.
While the chicken bakes, in a medium saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly, while cooking the flour/butter mixture for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking quickly. Stir in the chicken bouillon granules and salt. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes. Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep the sauce warm until the chicken is finished baking.
Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with warm sauce.
This was so easy and delicious! Way better than the recipes using cream of chicken soup as the sauce, and not as hard as the list of ingredients and long instructions would lead to you to believe! I enjoyed the simple prep for the chicken, ham and cheese and not having to roll it up like normal cordon bleu. The sauce has such a great flavor and it's yummy on it's own. My kids all ate it, and thought it was good. Try this!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Bread Bowls
*Note: if you don't have apple juice on hand, you can omit the apple juice and increase the chicken broth to 1 3/4 cups.
For the Chicken and Sauce:
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cubed (about 2-3 chicken breasts) ((to save time I used ready-cooked chicken and just added it to the sauteed garlic and onions))
- 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup apple juice
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets
- Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
4-6 medium round regular or sourdough bread bowls or big rolls
8-10 thin slices smoked ham
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray.
Place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tight fitting microwave-safe lid. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes until tender but still bright green. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside.
In a 10- or 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chicken and saute until the chicken begins to brown but isn't cooked all the way through, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened (when chicken is still slightly pink), about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken/onion mixture and stir to incorporate. Cook, stirring, constantly for one minute.
Gradually add the chicken broth and apple juice, stirring constantly to avoid any clumps from forming. Stir in the cream, Parmesan cheese, mustard and thyme. Simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in the broccoli; season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Hollow out the inside of the bread bowls by cutting off the tops and tearing out the insides. I like to leave about a 1/4-inch edge along all sides of the bread bowl. Compress the remaining bread together to firm up the sides and make room for the filling. Place the bread bowls on the prepared baking sheet and toast them for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven.
Remove the toasted loaves from the oven and arrange the ham slices in the bottom of each loaf. Using a slotted spoon, divide chicken mixture evenly between loaves, reserving about 1-2 cups sauce in the pan for serving. Top the chicken mixture in each loaf with shredded Swiss and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Bake the bread bowls until the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes. Serve each bread bowl with reserved cream sauce.