Chicken Cordon Bleu has been a long-time favorite of mine. My Mom used to make this for special occasions and sometimes even for Christmas. This was the meal I requested for my birthday each year. It is such a beautiful dish and makes anyone you serve it to feel special. The big secret is that this is very easy to prepare and takes less than an hour, start to finish, including the gravy. This recipe is my Mom’s recipe.
(6) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(6) slices of swiss cheese
(6) slices of ham
3/4 c all purpose flour
1 Tbls paprika
1 chicken flavored bouillon cube
6 Tbls butter
1/2 c dry white wine (I usually use a full cup)
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 Tbls corn starch
Combine the flour and paprika in a bowl.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and bouillon cube over low heat.
Spread the chicken breasts and pound flat. Be gentle with the chicken because you don’t want any holes in your breasts. (I pound my chicken inside a plastic bag. You can also put plastic wrap over the chicken to minimize the mess.)
Lay out the chicken breasts and add a slice of swiss cheese to each breast. If you need to tear up the slice to get it to fit better that’s fine. If you want to add a little more cheese to completely cover the breast – go for it.
Next layer on the ham. Same idea as the cheese. Tear if you need to.
Now it’s time to roll up the chicken. Have your toothpicks nearby and start rolling, similar to a burrito. If you have ham or cheese poking out – it’s no big deal, more flavor for the gravy. Use the toothpicks to keep the chicken secure. These will be pulled out later. (My Mom wrote in to use non-colored toothpicks. She told me one time she used them because she had nothing else and the chicken came out beautifully colored in red, green, blue, and yellow. Not super appetizing.)
Gently dredge the chicken in the flour and paprika. Shake off the excess flour.
Turn up the heat to medium and add the chicken to the pan. Brown on all sides. Turn the chicken every which way you can to maximize the browning and ultimately the flavor.
Once the chicken is nicely browned, pour the wine over the chicken pieces and put a lid on the skillet. Turn down the heat to low again. When my Mom wrote out this recipe for me she said to add a little more wine :) Let the chicken cook for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Pull the chicken out and place on a warm plate and tent with foil. This will keep the chicken warm while you work on the gravy. Let the chicken cool for a few minutes, until you can handle it with ease, and then pull out the toothpicks.
On to the best part – the gravy! Keep all those pan drippings – this is the good stuff. Let the contents of the pan come to a simmer.
Combine the corn starch and heavy whipping cream (feel free to use milk or half and half to cut down on fat and calories). Whisk well to get rid of any lumps – we all hate lumpy gravy!
Slowly whisk in the whipping cream mixture and continue whisking until well combined. Let contents come to a simmer again and then reduce heat to low. You might want to give the gravy a taste test…and then serve it up!