Cordon Bleu Chicken Tenders Recipe
Cordon Bleu, traditionally, uses pounded veal cutlets which are wrapped around meat and cheese - the most common being some type of ham and Swiss or gruyere cheese, which are then breaded and either deep fried or baked. My recipe for Chicken Tender Cordon Bleu turns the whole tradition inside out as I wrapped the tenders in Swiss cheese and black forest ham which were then breaded, lightly pan fried until golden and baked off in the oven.
They are easy to make and extremely delicious, especially if you use a tasty ham and a strong Swiss cheese. They hold together really well after baking and are a great option for a picnic, as you can hold them in your hand easily. I always give you the option of changing up the ingredients in my recipes, as it's the diner who needs to be happy here, not just me. A good melting cheese is necessary, though - Swiss, Gruyere, Muenster, Provolone, Mozzarella, smoked Fontina would all be delicious.
If you can't find chicken tenders, then just slice chicken breasts into fingers. The ham and Swiss slices from my deli were large (rectangle shape) which I cut in half - so adjust the quantities of meat and cheese if your slices are close to a square shape. Give this a try - they are fun to make.
2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
4 large eggs, beaten well
2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 package chicken tenders (about 12)
Ground black pepper
6 large slices of black forest ham (cut in half)
6 large slices of Finlandia Swiss cheese (cut in half)
Vegetable or other cooking oil
A large skillet
1. First, place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls - this is your breading station.
2. Sprinkle the tenders with the black pepper. Wrap a half slice of cheese around the chicken and then a slice of ham and secure with a toothpick. Roll the wrapped tender into the flour coating well, shaking off the excess flour before coating with the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
3. In a deep skillet add 1 inch of cooking oil and heat to 350 degrees. Before you continue preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly fry the breaded tenders in batches (2 or 3 at a time) until golden brown and place these on a cookie sheet or other shallow pan and bake for 10 minutes. Test a large tender for doneness by slicing it in half - the chicken should be white and moist. If you need further baking do this for 5 minutes at a time. When the cheese shows signs of oozing from the ends of the tenders, they are probably ready.
I served this over cheddar pasta with sautéed mushrooms - delicious!
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