Saturday, 20 July 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu (with gluten free variation)

I invited some friends for dinner, and said I would be cooking 'Chicken Cordon Bleu'. One friend said, "I hear there that on the internet there are recipes so you can make this from scratch". I replied "Absolutely!" I decided that I should add my version of this classic recipe to my blog.
Chicken Cordon Blue is very simple to make, and easy to change for a variety of presentations. It is also very simple to make for a few people or many people. I usually do mine in the oven, but today I will cook it on the BBQ. This can also be prepared in a large frying an, so you can do this while out camping, although you will not have the crispy outside that you get from oven baking. I often make a white wine sauce* to pour over the chicken, but it can also be served with gravy. If you change the ham to bacon(>), or the cheese to another variety, you have a new dish to enjoy. To make gluten free just exchange the flours and crumbs. I find brown rice flour works well, but you can use corn starch or potato starch, too. The best crumbs I have found for gluten free coatings is to crush Rice Krispies cereal.

* recipe follows          
>lightly cook bacon, if using it, before placing on the chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 °  F

What you need: for each person - 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast; 1 slice of ham; 1 slice of real Swiss cheese (Gruyere or Emmental); 2 tbs flour; salt and pepper; ¼ tsp each onion powder, and garlic powder;  ¼ cup panko crumbs; ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves or ¼ tsp dried thyme leaves. Also 1 egg and 2 tbs milk per 2 servings; 1 tbs melted butter or margarine or  oil for cooking.

What you do: use a mallet to pound each chicken breast flat. Mix salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders together. Sprinkle on both side of the chicken pieces. If desired, trim ham and cheese slices to size of chicken breast.  Lay ham and cheese slices on top of the chicken and roll up the breasts like making rouladen. Fasten closed with a tooth pick. Place rolls into flour to coat lightly. Whisk egg and milk together in a shallow dish. Place crumbs in a large ziplock bag. Roll the chicken into the egg mixture then shake in the crumbs. Pour melted butter, oil, or margarine into your baking pan. Swirl to coat the bottom evenly. Place chicken rolls into the pan, and sprinkle on thyme leaves. Place into the oven, and bake for 25 minutes, or until juices are clear.
(To cook in the BBQ I will use a sturdy metal baking dish, and place it in the BBQ, which has been set to medium heat. Bake as for in the oven.)
{To cook in a frying pan, on high heat,  melt the butter or margarine, and add the chicken rolls to the pan. Brown on all sides. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover pan halfway, and let the chicken simmer for 20 minutes, turning twice. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Remove chicken rolls, and set aside to keep warm. Add sauce mixture to the pan, increase heat, and cook until sauce is thickened. Replace the chicken rolls, and use a spoon or ladle to cover rolls with sauce.}

Serve with any side dish - such as rice, noodles, mashed or baked potatoes, and steamed vegetables or salad. Pour sauce over chicken before serving.

*Wine sauce

What you need: ½ c chicken stock; ½ c skim milk; 1 tbs butter or margarine; 2 tbs flour; 1 cup white wine;  salt and white pepper to taste, Aromat powder or onion and garlic powder to taste. Wine, skim milk, or white grape juice to adjust the sauce.

What you do: In a 4 cup glass bowl or measuring cup, melt the butter or margarine in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add the flour and whisk together. Add chicken stock and milk, stir well, making sure to incorporate all the flour mixture. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Add the wine, salt and pepper, Aromat or onion and garlic, cook  about 4 minutes on medium power, or until until sauce is thickened. If sauce is too thick, add milk or grape juice to achieve the right consistency for your sauce. It should be thick like whipping cream, but not too thick to pour easily. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Serve  over the chicken, or on almost any vegetable or pasta dish.  

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