Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken cordon bleu – an exceptional dish I must say. Chicken breasts stuffed with Swiss cheese and then more meat, before the whole concoction is breaded and darkened in butter. Dare I say it’s almost too enticing of a treat for all but the staunchest of vegetarians? I think that’s a fair statement.

There are of course many different recipes for chicken cordon bleu along with different methods of cooking the chicken. Some of them call for steaming the chicken in the pan you browned it in, while others simply bake the chicken and skip the frying part altogether.

But personally, I think frying them in butter before finishing them in the oven is what makes chicken cordon bleu so delicious.

Obviously, baking the chicken without frying it is going to be the healthiest choice (if there is one for this dish) but we are going for the typical chicken cordon bleu style, so frying the breaded chicken breasts is what we will be doing.

As an added bonus, don’t forget the enticing aromas that will be emanating from the kitchen as well, when you begin to brown the chicken cordon bleu in butter. They will most likely attract any wondering family members who picked up on the the scent. Just a heads up.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I used thin sliced deli smoked ham for this recipe. Here in Alaska, the options are pretty much honey ham, smoked ham, and Black Forest ham. Now, Black Forest ham is also smoked, so let me try and distinguish between the two: smoked ham and Black Forest ham.

Authentic Black Forest ham (Schwarzwälder Schinken in German) is actually produced in the Black Forest region of Germany, and it’s a variety of dry-cured smoked ham. It’s the best selling smoked ham in Europe. Since 1997 the term “Black Forest ham” is a Protected Designation of Origin in the European Union. That means any product sold in the European Union labeled as “Black Forest ham” has to come from the Black Forest region in Germany.

Non European countries don’t recognize this distinction however. A variety of commercially produced ham, especially in the United States and Canada are marketed as “Black Forest ham”. And they vary in their degree of quality. So rather than tell you to use Black Forest ham, (which seems more authentic to me) I’m going to keep things simple and just use smoked ham for this recipe.

Feel free to use Black Forest ham if you want though, just keep in mind that it might not be the real deal. Other than that, I would say don’t use honey ham. That’s about all I have to say on the subject and I’m pretty sure I went a little off topic with the above ham explanation.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken cordon bleu fresh from the oven!

Getting back to the subject at hand – “Revenons à nos moutons” – I’d like to talk a little bit more about the history of chicken cordon bleu, how it originated, and maybe talk about some variations of the dish.

To begin with, a cordon bleu is meat wrapped around cheese (and more meat) that is then breaded and typically either pan-fried or deep-fried.

So what does cordon bleu mean? Simply put, it translates into ‘blue ribbon.” Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

According to Larousse Gastronomique cordon bleu “was originally a wide blue ribbon worn by members of the highest order of knighthood, L’Ordre des chevaliers du Saint-Esprit, instituted by Henri III of France in 1578. By extension, the term has since been applied to food prepared to a very high standard and to outstanding cooks. The analogy no doubt arose from the similarity between the sash worn by the knights and the ribbons (generally blue) of a cook’s apron.”


Veal cordon bleu is made of veal that has been pounded thin just like the chicken and then wrapped around ham and a slice of cheese. It is then breaded, and either pan-fried or baked.

And there’s also ham cordon bleu which seems to differ in appearance more so than other variants of cordon bleu. The ham could be stuffed with mushrooms and cheese for instance. Other recipes call for the ham to be stuffed with horseradish and sliced turkey.

Basically, a cordon bleu involves a cutlet of some sort that has been stuffed with cheese and meat. It is then rolled into a roulade, breaded and fried. If you wanted to, you could substitute bacon for the ham in the recipe below. Or just stuff the chicken with both the ham and the bacon!

Anyway you choose to make cordon bleu will probably end up tasting great. It’s really hard to mess up. Have fun with the recipe and as I always say, experiment and then experiment some more. Let us know what you think in the comments below and thanks for reading.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 2-4


  • 2 large chicken breasts (4 halves)
  • 4 – 8 slices smoked ham
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Place a piece of plastic wrap over chicken breast half. Using the flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with the other three halves.
  2. You can break the pieces of Swiss cheese in half so they fit better.
  3. Place the two halves of Swiss cheese and 1 – 2 slices of smoked ham lengthwise on the chicken.
  4. Begin rolling up the chicken like a jelly-role and secure with toothpicks.
  5. Add salt and pepper to flour. Give it a quick mix.
  6. Crack the two eggs in a separate bowl, and whisk them together.
  7. Begin heating a large frying pan over medium heat. Add butter so it can melt.
  8. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C)
  9. Now, one at a time begin dredging the stuffed chicken in the seasoned flour, then dip them in the eggs, and finally place them in the breadcrumbs, scooping the breadcrumbs up by hand to cover the chicken cordon bleu. Expect your fingers to get messy.
  10. Gently place each chicken cordon bleu in the hot butter and let them brown for 8 – 10 minutes, turning each one as needed to brown all sides and avoid burning.
  11. Remove the chicken and place in an oven safe bowl.
  12. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  13. Remove chicken from oven and drizzle with the (optional) creamy white wine sauce below if desired.

Creamy White Wine Sauce


  • 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc (or anything similar)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Heat butter over medium heat until melted.
  2. Add flour and stir to create a roux.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and continue stirring over medium heat until thickened.

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