April 4th is National Cordon Bleu Day.
Cordon Blue refers to a dish made with veal, chicken, or ham wrapped around cheese then breaded and pan-fried or deep-fried. The veal and chicken versions often include ham or prosciutto wrapped with the cheese.
Cordon Bleu was the highest order of knighthood under the Bourbon kings, L’Ordre des Chevaliers du Satin-Espirit. The members wore a wide blue sash. The term has since come to mean “first class” and “first place”. Today, blue ribbons are given to first place winners.
The culinary dish seems to have evolved from a veal schnitzel from Switzerland. Chicken Cordon Bleu is a blending of Chicken Kiev and Veal Cordon Bleu, and thought to be an American innovation.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
This is a simplified version that does not require pounding or rolling of the chicken. Try serving this with a hollandaise or mustard sauce.
1 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
12 slices prosciutto
8 oz. thinly sliced Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease baking dish.
Combine breadcrumbs and melted butter. Set aside.
Lay the cut chicken breasts in a single layer in the baking dish. Layer each chicken breast with two slices of ham and top with cheese.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.