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iNwine Weekend Recipe: A make-ahead dish for Christmas: Chicken cordon bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu when made right oozes with cheese,
Chicken Cordon Bleu when made right oozes with cheese,
Image Credit: Jay Lirag

Christmastime is here and with current restrictions, a big turkey dinner may not be the plan this year but do not dismay, there are many other delicious holiday worthy meals to make for your little bubble. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu is a retro classic and a winner for all ages. Essentially it is a beautiful little bundle stuffed with ham and cheese that gloriously oozes out when you cut into it. All you need is a little patience to artfully create the roll and the plus is that it freezes very well so is a perfect make-ahead dish. While you are at it, why not make a bigger batch to deliver to your friends and loved ones with a bottle of B.C. wine for them to enjoy during the holidays. Or set up a zoom call to all enjoy together.

In this version, we used a combo of Swiss and Monterey Jack cheese however Gruyere is a good choice too. Instead of ham, prosciutto is lovely. This dish was inspired by an amazing cook named Cina.

Make sure the chicken is evenly pounded to make for a more delicate dish.
Make sure the chicken is evenly pounded to make for a more delicate dish.

Jay’s Chicken Cordon Bleu
4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices, thinly sliced ham
4 slices, Swiss Cheese
4 slices, Monterey Jack Cheese
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Seasoning mix:
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp thyme
1 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs (or make your own and season yourself)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly season the chicken breasts with seasoning mix.  Place a chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/8-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic and lay 1 slice of ham over the top to cover the breast and then one slice of each type of cheese (fold into quarters). Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight inside the plastic wrap. Twist both ends of the plastic wrap tightly to form a nice tidy cylinder. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Line up three medium bowls. In the first, place the seasoned flour, the eggs in the next and then breadcrumbs in the third. Mix the butter into the breadcrumbs (will help achieve a golden crust). Remove the chicken bundle from the wrap and then roll in flour, dip in egg and coat with breadcrumbs. Shake off and place on a lightly greased baking dish. Move to fridge and let sit for 1/2 - 1 hour to set. If freezing, wrap each bundle separately in tin foil.
If serving immediately, bake for 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.

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