Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu-wich – An Old Classic Gets Open Faced

If you love chicken cordon bleu because it’s “fancy,” and you serve it primarily to impress dinner guests with your culinary skills, then this video is really not for you. However, if you love chicken cordon bleu because of its winning flavor combination of chicken, ham, and Gruyere cheese, then stick around.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the classic preparation, and will do my version one of these days, but for all that pounding, stuffing, rolling, pinning, breading, frying, and baking…I can deliver the same basic flavor and texture profile with significantly less time and effort.

By the way, while most consider this a French recipe, the word on the street is that this actually originated in Switzerland. That doesn’t really have any bearing on the recipe, but since I can’t remember ever giving the Swiss a hard time here, I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask, what’s up with those pocketknives? You really need one tool that can both kill a squirrel and puck nose hairs? Seems a little much.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I posted a sandwich video, and this, as the name would indicate, was certainly a blue ribbon winner. It made for a perfect lunch, but throw a poached egg on top, and you’ve got a stellar brunch item; or cut these up into quarters, and serve as finger food for the next big game. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
*Note: topping can be made days ahead and baked whenever.
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup diced smoked ham
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp milk
3 oz shredded gruyere cheese, divided (save a little for the top)
1 rounded tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/4 cup diced dill pickle
cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp bread crumbs mixed with 1 tsp melted butter for the top

View the complete recipe