These were never suppose to be mini. Due to a miscommunication with my mother, I was under the impression that we had chicken breasts in the fridge. When I came home, however, they were tiny little chicken tenderloins.
Rewinding to earlier that day, my mother called asking that I make dinner. Her only requirement was that I try to use up the chicken and prosciutto in the refrigerator. So I drove home from school, plopped myself down on the couch, and attempted to think up a way on how to combine the two. While thinking of ideas I turned on my television, and as if it was some sort of sign, Tyler Florence of Tyler’s Ultimate came on making chicken cordon bleu, using prosciutto instead of ham. Slightly spooked out, but nevertheless happy, I went out to get gruyere cheese.
When I came home and pulled out the chicken, I realized that these were just tenderloins. The idea of going out again and spending more money on chicken when I already had some baffled me, so I decided to get creative. I pounded these guys out until they were flat as pancakes, until they were wide and long enough to have a slice of prosciutto lay folded on top. Rolling them up was extremely difficult, as they were so tiny, and I was trying to get as much cheese as I could inside without it all spilling over. While putting them in the oven I was sure they’d turn out to be a complete disaster, so I was shocked to see eight little, good looking cordon bleus come out. Some of the cheese leaked out a tad, but other than that, they had a crispy outer and juicy middle.
If possible, I highly suggest using gruyere cheese. It really makes a wonderful difference. The nutty, rich taste of the gruyere compliments the salty prosciutto, making you never want to eat boxed cordon bleu from your supermarket ever again. Although, I definitely recommend using actual chicken breasts instead of tenderloins. Even though accomplishing tiny chicken roulades made me feel as if acing that psychology test would be a walk in the park, it’s really not worth the hassle.
These are great leftover, too. After dinner we had one left, so the next day I fried it up in a little bit of butter. Where as sometimes breading will become soggy the next day, it didn’t happen with these. Its outer crust became a golden brown, the cheese bubbled on the inside- completely resurrected from it’s refrigerated state.
However, never again will I take pictures in the dark under the dim light of a ceiling lamp older than me. I’m not very happy with how the pictures turned out, yet I can’t really complain, since I’m not totally sure on how to use every setting on my camera. I’ve been debating on whether or not to make myself a light box, but with my limited knowledge at the moment, I’m not sure if it would come in handy.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Adapted from Tyler Florence on Tyler’s Ultimate
- 4 chicken breasts skinless and boneless
- 4 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
- 1/2 pound Gruyere, grated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lay the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove the top sheet of plastic and lay 2 slices of prosciutto neatly over the top to cover the breast and sprinkle a quarter of the cheese over the prosciutto. Tuck in the sides of the breast and roll up tight like a jellyroll inside the plastic wrap. Squeeze the log gently to seal and twist both ends tight to form a nice log. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Season the flour with salt and pepper. Mix the bread crumbs with thyme, garlic and kosher salt, pepper, and melted butter. The butter will help the crust brown. Beat together the eggs and season so the flour, the eggs and the crumbs are all seasoned.
Remove the plastic wrap. Lightly dust the chicken with flour, dip in the egg mixture and gently coat in the bread crumbs. Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil and carefully transfer the roulades onto it. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and cooked through.