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Chicken Cordon Bleu

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Chicken Cordon Bleu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless, fully thawed
  • ~1/4 lb extra-thin slices of ham or prosciutto
  • 6~7 thin slices of gruyere, Swiss, muenster, or provolone cheese
  • 5-7 mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1-1/2 tbsp EVOO or melted coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp water
Instructions
  1. Get the oven heating up to 350 degrees.
  2. Start out by laying a chicken breast, skin side down, on a cutting board. Spread a piece of plastic wrap over it, and then proceed to beat it with a meat mallet. Not too hard though – we’re looking to coax the meat out into a uniform thickness of about ⅜″ or so. Take soft, controlled, hits at the thinner part of the breast and work your way up to a little harder when dealing with the thickest part. You can also “rub” it with the face of the mallet to spread things out a bit. We don’t want any holes in it, which will happen if you’ve a) not fully thawed it before starting or b) beat the tar out of it.
  3. Transfer this to a plate, then continue with the other three breasts.
  4. Arrange all of the flattened breasts across your cutting board/prep surface, then wash your hands before handling the remaining ingredients.
  5. Arrange 1 to 1-1/2 slices of cheese on each chicken breast, leaving some room around the edges.
  6. Next, arrange the sliced ham on top of the cheese. I have mine sliced about as thick as heavy paper, so I usually lay out two layers of ham on top.
  7. Arrange mushrooms over top of the ham.
  8. Next, roll up the breasts tight – starting with the small end, and “tucking” in the sides as you go to form a nice tight roll a little bigger than the original breast. Make sure that all of the filling is tucked up inside and not exposed.
  9. Now, prep your “breading” assembly line. The first bowl has your coconut flour mixed with a dash (1/4 tsp or so) of sea salt and coarse black pepper. The second bowl has your two eggs and 2 tbsp of water, beat with a fork until everything is one consistency. The third bowl has the almond flour, thyme, and EVOO or coconut oil, blended with a fork to form a crumbly texture.
  10. Now follow the assembly line – rolling each “breast” in the flour mixture, then the egg, and finally the almond “breading.” Roll in the same direction that you originally rolled up the breasts, holding the sides sort of like a corn cob, to keep everything sealed and tight. You may find you need to press down into the almond meal a bit to get things to stick, but whatever works.
  11. Get them all arranged in a baking dish and stuff them in the oven. Then you can turn your attention to making whatever side dishes you’re having with the meal.
  12. Cook for about 25~35 minutes – until the cheese starts to melt and ooze out of the ends and the tops turn a little brown. (Note: almond meal won’t “golden” like traditional breading, which is part of why I used “natural” almond flour in this recipe).
  13. Enjoy!

The origins of this dish are most often attributed to French cuisine – but there are also arguments that it was developed in the US to mimic other European stuffed meat dishes (such as Chicken Kiev and saltimbocca alla Romana), and given the name (meaning Blue Ribbon Chicken) to suggest a more continental culinary heritage.  While there are variations, it is most often found as a thinly pounded chicken breast rolled around a filling of ham and cheese, then breaded and fried or baked.

Our kids both were big fans of Chicken Cordon Bleu before we adopted the Primal lifestyle, and any favorite food that you can “carry over” when making the switch becomes an aid in successfully getting them on board too.  The issue here is that traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu recipes contain a handful of ingredients that aren’t welcome in our Primal meal plan – namely wheat flour and bread crumbs for their gluten content.  Because we do indulge in occasional dairy intake (mostly cream and butter, but also a limited amount of cheese, and from grass-fed sources as much as possible), we modified our recipe by substituting the traditional flour and bread-crumb breading with coconut flour and almond flour.  And the kids never even noticed the switch!
Gather up:

  • 4 large chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless, fully thawed
  • ~1/4 lb extra-thin slices of ham or prosciutto
  • 6~7 thin slices of gruyere, Swiss, muenster, or provolone cheese
  • 5-7 large mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1-1/2 tbsp EVOO or melted coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp water

Get the oven heating up to 350 degrees.  Start out by laying a chicken breast, skin side down, on a cutting board.  Spread a piece of plastic wrap over it, and then proceed to beat it with a meat mallet.  Not too hard though – we’re looking to coax the meat out into a uniform thickness of about 3/8″ or so, not take out the aggressions of sitting in traffic for an hour and a half on I-5 to get home.  Take soft, controlled, hits at the thinner part of the breast and work your way up to a little harder when dealing with the thickest part.  You can also “rub” it with the face of the mallet to spread things out a bit.  We don’t want any holes in it, which will happen if you’ve 1) not fully thawed it before starting or 2) beat the tar out of it.

The result should look something like this.  Transfer this to a plate, then continue with the other three breasts. Arrange all of the flattened breasts across your cutting board/prep surface, then wash your hands before handling the remaining ingredients.  Arrange 1 to 1-1/2 slices of cheese on each chicken breast, leaving some room around the edges.

Next, arrange the sliced ham on top of the cheese and then the mushrooms.  I have the cheese sliced about as thick as heavy paper, so I usually lay out two layers of ham on top.

Next, roll up the breasts tight – starting with the small end, and “tucking” in the sides as you go to form a nice tight roll a little bigger than the original breast.  Make sure that all of the filling is tucked up inside and not exposed.

Now, prep your “breading” assembly line.  The first bowl has your coconut flour mixed with a dash (1/4 tsp or so) of sea salt and coarse black pepper.  The second bowl has your two eggs and 2 tbsp of water, beat with a fork until everything is one consistency.  The third bowl has the almond flour, thyme, and EVOO or coconut oil, blended with a fork to form a crumbly texture.

Now follow the assembly line – rolling each “breast” in the flour mixture, then the egg, and finally the almond “breading.”  Roll in the same direction that you originally rolled up the breasts, holding the sides sort of like a corn cob, to keep everything sealed and tight.  You may find you need to press down into the almond meal a bit to get things to stick, but whatever works.

Get them all arranged in a baking dish and stuff them in the oven.  Then you can turn your attention to making whatever side dishes you’re having with the meal.

Cook for about 25~35 minutes – until the cheese starts to melt and ooze out of the ends and the tops turn a little brown, like the slightly bare spots in the photo above.  (Note: almond meal won’t “golden” like traditional breading, which is part of why I used “natural” almond flour in this recipe).  Dish, serve, and enjoy!