Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4th - National Cordon Bleu Day

Cordon Bleu, the meaning? It's French for Blue Ribbon.

Chicken Cordon Bleu is chicken filled with ham and cheese. Please do not confuse the dish with the school. Contrary to popular belief Chicken Cordon Bleu did not originate in the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. I was introduced to American in the 1960s.

There are several variations of this recipe which will always include a chicken breast, cheese, and pork. Typical preparation of this dish is to butterfly a chicken breast, place a thin slice of ham or prosciutto inside, along with a thin slice of a soft, easily melted cheese. The chicken breast is then rolled into a roulade (roulade originates from the French word "rouler" meaning "to roll"), coated in bread crumbs and then deep fried. Other variations exist where the chicken is baked rather than fried. Other common variations include omitting the bread crumbs, wrapping the ham around the chicken, or using bacon in place of the ham.

In the 1500s, the Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit became known as “Les Cordon Bleus.” The knights used a blue ribbon to hang their talisman, and eventually the term became associated with distinction and honor. Today, we still award blue ribbons for excellence!

Please enjoy the recipe below when you celebrate National cordon Bleu Day

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Makes 4 Servings

4 Boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c Chopped cooked ham
1/4 c Grated Swiss cheese
1 Clove garlic; crushed
2 tb White wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c Flour (season with salt and pepper to taste)
1 lg Egg
1 tb Oil
1/2 c Breadcrumbs
1/4 c Oil
5 tb Butter

Beat egg and oil together, set aside. Place chicken skin side
down. With a sharp knife cut a shallow slit down
center of each without cutting through to skin.
Then cut shallow pockets on either side of these
slits. Mix ham, cheese, garlic and wine. Season well.
Spoon mixture into pockets and seal slit with the
small finger shaped filet that is attached to each breast.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Coat breasts well with seasoned
flour, brush with beaten egg and oil, then roll in bread
crumbs. Heat oil in frying pan. Add butter and when
butter is foaming, cook chicken until tender, golden brown
and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve.

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