A story of chicken, cheese and ham
By Ken Narita, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Cordon bleu is a delicious yet easy dish to prepare. The name, coming from the French word blue ribbon, has its own history with French cuisine. Originating from the blue ribbons worn by French knights, the term eventually became a name given to outstanding cooks. Cordon bleu has such a deep meaning in culinary arts that one of the largest culinary schools in the world is named Le Cordon Bleu. Although it did not originate from Le Cordon Bleu, this dish earns its own respect in the culinary world.
- 1 egg
- Two chicken breasts
- Sliced ham
- Bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil
- Black pepper
To begin preparing the dish start by cutting the chicken breast in half to make chicken cutlets. If this is a struggle, pre-cut chicken cutlets can be bought at the store. Take one cutlet and place plastic wrap over it. Once covered with the plastic wrap, hit it with a meat tenderizer to flatten. If a meat tenderizer is unavailable, the same outcome can be reached by using a rolling pin. Be careful not to create holes. The goal is to have the cutlets about one quarter of an inch thick. After flattening, season the cutlets with some salt and ground pepper.
When the chicken is flattened out enough, place a slice of ham and cheese on top. Roll from one end of the cutlet so the ingredients make a swirl. Take a toothpick and use it to keep the end of the chicken shut.
The next step it to bread the rolled-up cutlets. Prepare a plate or bowl of flour and bread crumbs separately. Add salt and black pepper to both the flour and breadcrumbs. Beat the egg in a bowl. Begin by covering the cutlet with flour. Shake off excess flour, then dip it in the beaten egg. Once there is a nice coating of egg on the outside, dip it in the bread crumbs. Repeat the egg and break crumb step once more. Repeating this will result in a better crust.
On a medium-high stove, heat the vegetable oil. Have the oil about half-an-inch deep in the pan. Having a deep pan for this step will help keep oil from splattering all over. Once the oil heats put place the breaded chicken cutlets in. Cook on all sides until a brown crust forms. This may require sitting it up to cook the ends of the cutlets.
Once a nice crust appears, take it out of the pan and place on paper towel. Pat the excessive oil off to insure a crisp crust. Do not forget to take out the tooth pick used to hold the chicken together earlier. This dish can be served with a salad, potatoes, green beans, asparagus, or pasta.
The first cut into cordon bleu reveal a beautiful sight. The swirl of chicken, ham and cheese all come together to create a new flavor. Overall it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to prepare. This simple yet delicious dish is sure to impress anyone to whom it is served.