Chicken Cordon Bleu – Naked & Deconstructed . $2.88

Ha – I got your attention with that “naked” huh? 🙂 This is a dish I’ve been running into here and there. All the marvelous flavor of Chicken Cordon Bleu, none of the hassle. Here’s mine: Chicken, Ham, a Swiss Mornay, a touch of Sherry and the most marvelous Herbed Bread Crumbs. My only regret? Not making this sooner.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Deconstructed, piping hot from the oven.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Deconstructed, piping hot from the oven.

When we tasted this, we liked it better than the standard Chicken Cordon Bleu – the chicken was beautifully cooked, moist and delicious. The sauce, which I was a bit disappointed with at first view, because it had mingled with the juices of the chicken in the bottom of the pan, and looked a little runny and *bleh* was fabulous! What I was worried might be a flaw that I’d need to fix in the “next version was actually a plus!

My son’s girlfriend and I spent the afternoon chatting it up and cooking as I showed her how to make this dish. She’s a new cook, so I started with the bread crumbs, and we talked about how a boxed variety would work fine here, but how fantastic they are with my method.

We moved on to the White Sauce and talked about what it is as I made it – a “Mother” sauce, equal amounts of butter and flour, with the addition of milk. Easily remembered if you think however many tablespoons of butter you use, the flour is the same and the amount of milk is 1/2 the number of tablespoons, but in cups. So 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 cup flour! Then we turned it into a Mornay by turning off the heat and adding about 3/4 cup of cheese.

That got us talking about all the things this sauce is used for: Macaroni and Cheese for one! Scalloped Potatoes, for another! And in between all this talk, we did just what my son always suspects when we’re together! We talked about him! 🙂 Not as much as he thinks we do, though! We found time to talk about families, and friends and movies, and what ever else came to mind.

Thirty minutes later, we ate. She loved it! So who knows, maybe she’ll be making it for me someday. 🙂 We were so busy making this dish and talking, when the buzzer went off, I realized we forgot to make a vegetable or a side! Hunger may be the best sauce, but good company has to be the best “side!”

Normally, though, I’d serve a salad, a green vegetable, or perhaps carrots, and maybe something to work with the sauce: a little pasta or perhaps a mashed potato.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Deconstructed
Chicken Cordon Bleu Deconstructed

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Naked & Deconstructed

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 chicken breast halves, 6 ounces each cut in half horizontally
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Good pinch of paprika
  • five or six slices of Deli Ham – enough to cover the chicken
  • Mornay Sauce, below
  • 3/4 cup of toasted bread crumbs *
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a small casserole, large enough to snugly hold chicken in a single layer.

Salt and pepper chicken and sprinkle with a pinch of Paprika. Wrap the chicken in the ham. Place in casserole and spread the sauce over. Use a butter knife to slightly separate the rolls so the sauce can seep down.

Bake for about 25 minutes, then sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for about 5 more minutes until sauce is bubbly, bread crumbs crisp and chicken is cooked through.

Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Remove Chicken and stir remaining sauces and juices together in pan.

* Prepare bread crumbs while chicken bakes. Melt butter in a small bowl, add bread crumbs and stir together. Add the parsley and salt. Mix.

Mornay Sauce (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch of tarragon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sherry
  • 3/4 cup of grated Swiss cheese

Melt butter, add flour and stir to form a roux. Add milk in small additions, stirring until smooth. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring now and then until thickened, two to three minutes. Add the tarragon, salt and pepper and wine. Turn off heat and add grated cheese in small handfuls, stirring after each addition until the sauce is smooth.

from the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com

Roll the Chicken in the Ham, line it up in casserole; not usually a huge fan of lunch meat, but it works here!
Roll the Chicken in the Ham, line it up in casserole; not usually a huge fan of lunch meat, but it works here!

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe for saving money/time and managing this recipe on a budget.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.

Nutrition:

Amount Per Serving, calories, 456; Total Fat 22 g, 34 %; Saturated Fat 13 63 %; Monounsaturated Fat 6 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 137 mg 46 %; Sodium 578 mg 24 %; Potassium 343 mg 10 %; Total Carbohydrate 21 7 %; Dietary Fiber 1 5 %; Sugars 5 g; Protein 42 84 %; Vitamin A 15 %; Vitamin C 10%; Calcium 33 %; Iron 12 %

I ran the nutritional value late on this recipe and it was a bit worse than I feared; Note the use of deli ham, a product I seldom by or use for both health reasons and cost.  Still, I’d have this again, just with lots of healthy sides.

7 thoughts on “Chicken Cordon Bleu – Naked & Deconstructed . $2.88”

  1. This has become a family favorite! Thanks for sharing! To have my three picky eaters all love something is rare, so happy to find this!!

  2. What a great recipe. Although the different components may be a bit fussy to organize at one time, you can make them ahead, assemble and bake for an elegant or simple meal. I’d love to serve it with a nice fettucine or linguine. 🙂

    1. Thanks! 🙂 I liked that there was basically no work on the chicken, no browning, etc! And I always have toasted bread crumbs in the freezer. To tell you the truth, we doubled the sauce and half is in the fridge! I was going to make something else with it, but this is so good, I might make it again! 🙂

      Fettucine or linguine would be great!

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