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8.8.12

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU


Here is something French with a Hungarian memory. The first time I had this was up in the Vár in Budapest in a lovely medieval themed restaurant. Guszti, one of my brothers ordered it for me and my girls. He said you will all like this and he was right. For years I classified cordon bleu as an exotic French dish, until a popular North American frozen food manufacturer made it into an every day thing. I never actually bought a package, me being a sworn enemy of over-ingredienced convenience foods. I make this occasionally for nostalgia’s sake, even though Jim would rather forgo the cheese and the ham. Because of this, I switched the cooked ham for a slice of smoked prosciutto, it is thinner and seems to blend into the chicken meat. Also I use thin slices of Canadian Swiss Cheese, that too is a milder cheese and the man finds it more agreable with his meat than the traditional gruyére. The recipe is for two servings, increase the ingredients as needed.

2 pieces of boneless chicken breast
salt
2 Swiss cheese slices
2 ham slices [I use smoked prosciutto]
1/2 cup flour
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup fine breadcrumbs
oil for frying

• Remove fatty bits and any bone that may be lodged in the chicken.
• Set each chicken breast on a cutting board on its side and butterfly [cut each to half its original thickness].
• Cover with plastic wrap and pound each breast peace until it is 1/4 inch thick.
• Lightly salt it.
• Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss cheese on one half of each breast meat.
• Fold the meat over enveloping the ham and cheese.
• Press them together between the palms of your hands and set them aside.
• Line up 3 plates side by side.
• Add flour to the first, egg to the second and fine breadcrumbs to the third plate.
• Hint: You will want a well sealed envelope of breading around the chicken pieces to keep the cheese from running out during frying. It is important therefore to drench the chicken pieces at each stage of coating, not leaving any part uncovered. Use your hands transferring the chicken from flour to eggs and then to the breadcrumbs. You could use two forks, but I find it easier to use my hands. This allows me to press the breading into the meat and thus forming a well sealed crust around the chicken.
• Dip one of the prepared chicken pieces into flour first, coating it completely and press together.
• Next dip it into the beaten egg, once again coating it completely.
• Finally, place the chicken into the breadcrumbs; coat it completely and press together.
• Coat the remaining chicken.
• In a deep skillet place about 3/4 inch of oil.
• Place it on medium heat and heat up the oil for frying.
• Carefully slide the breaded chicken pieces into the oil and fry them uncovered until golden and crispy on both sides. Turn the chicken a few times, gently, with two forks, but do not puncture the meat.
• Transfer the golden crispy fried chicken pieces to a paper towel lined plate for a couple of minutes and then serve.

6 comments:

  1. OMG-now you've got me at my 'weak spot' Chicken Cordon Bleu! Honestly, if I could grab that skillet right through the screen, I would!
    It is absolutely divine, perfectly crispy on the outside, and melt in your mouth delicious on the inside!

    Oh, my...think I'm going to have to make this amazing classic chicken that I have not eaten in over 20yrs at least!
    Sheer perfection:D
    xo

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  2. Thank you Elisabeth

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  3. I am wondering, Zsuzsa if it's not more international now than French... so I'm not surprised it brings you Hungarian memories. I have never tried making it, but I know it's not easy, so congratulations for the perfect results! It looks so juicy, crunchy and delicious!

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  4. Sissi you know much more about French cuisine than I do, you could be right about this being an international dish. I wonder too with all the free trade and various ethnic groups moving all around the globe if the lines of ethnic cooking will eventually blend together? If I think about the many Hungarian dishes that have been classified as German… And certainly my cooking has added to the confusion. I try to be authentic when it comes to Hungarian food, but the other stuff I simply don’t know enough to be definitive about. I am amazed at the claims people make about gulyas. I am sure I am just as misinformed about other nations cooking. Sometimes I worry that I could be desecrating somebody’s holy cooking ground. :-)

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  5. Dear Zsuzsa, I haven't pretended even for a second that your chicken cordon bleu was not genuine! It looks and sounds like the French cordon bleu and a delicious one moreover :-)
    All I wanted to say is that it's a French dish which was exported so widely and into so many countries for dozens of years that it's famous everywhere in the world and probably served more often in foreign restaurants than in France. The French I know say they know what it is and that they have eaten it, but if you ask them when they have tasted it for the last time in a restaurant, they are unable to say. Not to mention cooking it. I had it more often in Polish restaurants than in France ;-) I suppose it's a question of food fashion...

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  6. Oh dear! Sissi, not for a moment please don't think that. It doesn’t matter to me if it is French or not. I was thinking maybe it's not really French, like German strudel is not really German. Ha! And yes I considered that the dish infiltrated so many kitchens over the years, it has become more international. Either way I am glad the Poles make it so well, the one I had in Hungary was also amazing.

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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