In the cold, dark winter comes Valentine's Day, a perfect time to show your family you love them with something delicious. When I think about romance, French food always springs to mind. And, while it may not be traditionally French, chicken cordon bleu, in all of its ooey-gooey glory, is perfect for the occasion.
Many people think that "bleu" refers to blue cheese. False! Cordon bleu simply means "blue ribbon" — because the dish is so dang good it's deserving of one. I've read that the original recipe was a veal cordon bleu, and that it may have been inspired by chicken Kiev (a butter- and herb-stuffed breaded chicken dish). According to my internet search, the first mention of chicken cordon bleu was in the New York Times in 1967.
Regardless of its provenance, the dish certainly feels French to me. Plus, stuffing anything with cheese is always a win in my family.
I used a very mild Swiss cheese when preparing this recipe because no one in my family, except me, really loves a good, strong Swiss. A three-step breading process — using flour, egg and breadcrumbs — ensures a super-crispy coating that doesn't fall off of the chicken.
A key to this recipe is getting the chicken nice and flat. If you don't have a meat tenderizer, you can pound the chicken with a heavy cast-iron pan — it's really fun! Think of it as a way to take out your pent-up aggression on the bird — not your loved ones.
I served the finished dish alongside rice pilaf and spinach, and it was divine! Add candles and voilà: a romantic dinner.
In the flour bowl:
In the egg bowl:
In the breadcrumb bowl:
Rosie’s Girls® is a one-week summer day camp that helps girls develop grit, connection and expanded possibilities as they explore hands-on STEM- and trades-related activities. Girls entering 6, 7 and 8th grades practice the skills of carpenters and engineers as they invent, design and build cooperative projects. It’s a safe,…(more)