Hasselback Chicken Cordon Bleu is perfect for that special dinner at home. It not only makes a beautiful presentation on the plate, it’s also gourmet tasty. Yet, it’s quite easy to make.
The French term “cordon bleu” literally translates to “blue ribbon,” an award coveted by the best cooks as well as the namesake of a most prestigious French cooking school. The traditional recipe uses scallops of veal or chicken, stuffed with ham and cheese, then breaded and sauteed. Chicken Cordon Bleu has been served in the finests restaurants around the world, and this version makes it easy to enjoy at home.
“Hasselback” comes from Swedish Chef Leif Elisson, who created the method whereby potatoes are sliced thin across the length nearly all the way through before cooking. The slices are held together by the unsliced potato base at the bottom. The potato version is stuffed with cheeses or covered with sauce. This method is used here with chicken breasts.
Hasselback Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless split chicken breast halves
1/4 cup (about) mayonnaise
4 (1/4-inch thick) slices ham from the deli counter (see Notes)
4 (1/4-inch thick) slices Swiss, Emmentaler or Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the shelf-stable stuff)
Sweet Hungarian paprika
Chopped parsley for garnish
Melt the butter in a skillet. Stir in the panko bread crumbs and stir-fry until golden. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 9- x -13-inch glass or ceramic casserole dish with vegetable or olive oil spray.
Whisk together the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mayonnaise
Brush the bottoms of the chicken breast halves with half of the mayonnaise mix, giving a thin coat. Turn them over and place in the casserole dish.
Make 4 to 6 slits cross-wise across the width of each chicken breast half, taking care not to cut all the way through. Cut the ham and cheese into slices about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long. Stuff 1 slice each of ham and cheese into each slit.
Brush the tops of the chicken with the remaining mayonnaise mixture. Sprinkle on the cooled toasted panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and a light dusting of paprika.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the chicken breasts. Take care not to over-cook or the chicken will become tough. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast (not in the slits) should read 165 F. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 4 servings
• Use a good quality ham with a low water content. Cheaper ones (especially pre-packaged sliced) will be too watery. I suggest hitting the deli for the ham and cheese so you don’t have to buy an entire package.
• Olive oil may be substituted for the mayonnaise, but I hope you’ll stick to the mayonnaise. That extra little tang is worth it.
• Although chicken cordon bleu specifies Swiss cheese, you may substitute any white cheese, such as Havarti or mozzarella. Or change it up completely by using a yellow cheese, such as Cheddar.
• Frugal cooks will buy bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts and remove the bones and skins at home. It’s easy to do and easier on your wallet. As a bonus, you will get the chicken tender part of the breast as well, which you can save for another recipe.
Hasselback Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe Photo ©2019 Peggy Filippone