This chicken cordon bleu recipe is the easiest ever because you stack the ingredients instead of stuffing them inside the chicken. This makes it super quick, even if you’re making a big panful!
What is Chicken Cordon Bleu?
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a European classic that originated in Switzerland. It’s usually made by stuffing ham and cheese inside of a chicken breast and then breading and pan-frying it.
The name Cordon Bleu means “Blue Ribbon” and refers to a wide blue ribbon once worn by the highest order of knights. Calling something blue ribbon was a way to say that it was of special quality.
Note that my Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe has tomato slices on it, just because I like them. You can totally leave them out if you want to be more traditional.
What Makes This Cordon Bleu So Easy?
When it comes to weeknight meals, I didn’t want to spend the time flattening the chicken into a cutlet (which you can learn to do here if you’d like), and then stuffing it, and then breading it, and then panfrying it. You already can tell what a pain this would be, right? Instead, I came up with this Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe where the ham, chicken, and cheese are simply and quickly layered, and then topped with lightly oiled breadcrumbs that get nice and crunchy.
By layering it in this way, you can double, or even triple, the recipe and assemble a whole pan of these cordon bleu stacks lickety split!
You may have noticed that the ham’s on the bottom, under the chicken. That’s to catch any cheese that melts off the top and tries to slide away.
Since first making this recipe, I have discovered that using a silicone mat or parchment paper stops the cheese from sticking, thus making clean up a breeze. I should say thought that I sometimes still put the stacks straight onto the pan so that the cheese drips down and browns on the pan. Then I use a metal spatula, one with a sharp bevel like this, to scrape under the chicken and get all of that browned crunchy cheese onto my plate. You get less (or no) brown crunchy cheese on the silpat, but the clean up is so easy that it’s hard to choose which version is better.
Finally, you might notice that I’ve included tomato slices here. Those aren’t traditionally part of chicken cordon bleu, but I wanted a bit of extra moisture and some vegetable all in one dish. Tomatoes arrived.
What Kind of Chicken to Use for Cordon Bleu?
I prefer using chicken thighs for this dish. I get the boneless skinless chicken thighs and kind of unroll them to make flat pieces of chicken. I prefer thighs to breasts for most things because they’re juicier and don’t get overcooked and dry as easily.
However, if you want to use breasts instead of thighs, you absolutely can. You want the breast to sit within the slice of ham. If the chicken breasts are too big for this, then cut them in half. I would also suggest that you consider pounding them slightly. This is because chicken breasts are usually thicker on one end than the other (the rounded end is usually thicker than the pointy end). What this means is that the pointy part ends up overcooked by the time the rounded part is cooked through. If you pound the thicker end down a bit so that it’s the same thickness as the thinner end, then the breasts cook more evenly. Learn how to pound the chicken breasts (and see pictures of how to do it) here.
Okay, now it’s time for the Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe! Have a great day!
I'm Christine Pittman, a cookbook author and busy mom of two. My recipes are made from scratch, they're quick, and they're fresh. I started this website over 10 years ago and I'm delighted that over a million people now come to visit every month to try my recipes. Thank you for visiting and for joining me on this delicious journey!Find out more about me here.
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