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Oven Chicken Cordon Bleu

Oven Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe

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If you’re craving the classic flavors of Chicken Cordon Bleu but want an easier, healthier alternative to frying, then this oven-baked version is for you. Tender chicken breasts are stuffed with Swiss cheese and ham, coated in seasoned breadcrumbs, and baked to golden perfection. It’s a deliciously satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion. Let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 4 thin slices of deli ham
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a baking dish with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.
  2. Butterfly Chicken Breasts: Lay the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice each chicken breast horizontally to create a pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through. Open each breast like a book.
  3. Season Chicken: Season the inside of each chicken breast with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  4. Assemble Cordon Bleu: Place a slice of Swiss cheese and a slice of ham inside each chicken breast.

Step 2: Coat the Chicken

  1. Prepare Breading Station: Set up a breading station with three shallow bowls. In the first bowl, place the flour. In the second bowl, beat the egg. In the third bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs with paprika.
  2. Coat Chicken: Dip each stuffed chicken breast into the flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip it into the beaten egg, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, coat it in the seasoned breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere.

Step 3: Bake the Chicken

  1. Arrange in Baking Dish: Place the breaded chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, seam side down.
  2. Brush with Butter: Brush the tops of the chicken breasts with melted butter for extra flavor and golden color.
  3. Bake: Transfer the baking dish to the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Rest and Slice: Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring moist and tender chicken.
  2. Serve: Serve the oven-baked Chicken Cordon Bleu hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired. Pair it with your favorite side dishes like roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a crisp salad.

Cooking Notes and Variations:

Tips for Success:

  • Even Thickness: For even cooking, try to make the chicken breasts as uniform in thickness as possible. You can use a meat mallet to gently pound them if needed.
  • Secure with Toothpicks: If the filling starts to ooze out during baking, secure the chicken breasts with toothpicks to hold everything in place.
  • Internal Temperature: Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked.
  • Customize Fillings: Get creative with the fillings by using different types of cheese, such as Gruyere or provolone, and swapping the ham for cooked bacon or prosciutto.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Sauce: Serve with a creamy Dijon mustard sauce or a simple honey mustard sauce for dipping.
  • Side Dishes: Pair with your favorite sides like roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables, or a crisp green salad.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate: Store any leftover Chicken Cordon Bleu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: To reheat, place the chicken in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Make-Ahead Option:

  • Prep Ahead: You can prepare the stuffed and breaded chicken breasts in advance and refrigerate them, covered, until ready to bake. This makes for an easy weeknight dinner or meal prep option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. Adjust the cooking time as needed, as thighs may require slightly longer to cook through.

2. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs and flour for a gluten-free version of this recipe. Ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free as well.

3. Can I freeze Chicken Cordon Bleu?

Yes, you can freeze unbaked Chicken Cordon Bleu for later use. Simply prepare the chicken up to the breading step, then wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing in a freezer-safe container. When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking as directed.

4. What can I serve with Chicken Cordon Bleu?

This dish pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, steamed vegetables, or a fresh green salad.

5. How can I prevent the breadcrumbs from burning?

To prevent the breadcrumbs from burning, you can cover the baking dish loosely with aluminum foil during the first half of baking, then remove it for the remaining time to allow the chicken to crisp up.

6. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the chicken ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. This is a great option for meal prep or entertaining.

7. Can I use different cheeses for the filling?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese to customize the flavor to your liking. Gruyere, provolone, or cheddar are all delicious options.

8. Can I grill Chicken Cordon Bleu instead of baking it?

Yes, you can grill the chicken instead of baking it for a delicious smoky flavor. Simply preheat your grill to medium-high heat and grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

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