A National Day Made Easy

Today is National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day. Each year on April 4th, we celebrate a dish that sounds French, but is actually an American adaptation. Cordon Bleu is the French term for “Blue Ribbon”. In France, a similar dish is made with Veal. Both are delicious.

The earliest known recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu in print appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer in March 1964. Yeah, in the greater scheme of things, that makes Chicken Cordon Bleu an infant. Cincinnati Gourmet Stanley Demos decided to take the veal recipe and make it with chicken instead, appealing to the American palate and eventually to the pocketbook of American home cooks.

Traditionally Chicken Cordon Bleu is a chicken breast that has been pounded thin, then wrapped around ham and Swiss Cheese. The breast is then rolled tight, held together with toothpicks, dipped in an egg wash and breaded. It is then baked or fried. Wow, that’s a lot of work.

This rendition does away with the pounding and the rolling and pinning. Instead the breast is plump, topped with the traditional ham and cheese, then wrapped in a flaky puff pastry. I love anything baked inside a puff pastry. This is delicious, and oh so easy. Enjoy!

Puff Pastry Chicken Cordon Bleu
8 (4 oz) boneless Chicken Breast Halves
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/8 teaspoon White Pepper
3 tablespoons Butter
1 (17.3 oz) package Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
8 slices Swiss Cheese
8 slices fully cooked Ham
1 large Egg
1 tablespoon Water

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown chicken in butter for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 15-inch by 10-inch rimmed baking pan; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut each square into four 6-inch squares for a total of eight squares. Place a chicken breast in the center of each square; top with cheese and ham.

Whisk egg and water; lightly brush over pastry edges. Bring 2 sides of pastry over chicken, overlapping 1 over the other; press seams to seal. Pinch together ends and fold under.

Transfer the prepared pan; brush tops with egg mixture. Place in the heated oven to bake for 30 minutes or until thermometer reads 165-degrees.

Serve with a nice green vegetable such as asparagus or broccoli and enjoy.

Try adding some spinach or mushrooms to bring a little variety. A nice white cheese sauce would also be delicious.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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