Chicken cordon bleu is a classic dish made from succulent chicken breasts, stuffed with ham and cheese, and coated in crispy breadcrumbs. Smother it with a tasty cheesy honey mustard sauce and you’ll have a meal the whole family will love. What’s more, it’s quick and easy to prepare too.
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- Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Kiev?
- Ingredients you will need
- How to make chicken cordon bleu
- Make the honey mustard sauce
- What to serve with chicken cordon bleu
- Can I freeze chicken cordon bleu?
- Storage and reheating
- Pin for later
- Other chicken recipes
- Chicken cordon bleu with honey mustard sauce recipe
- Chicken cordon bleu with honey mustard sauce
Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken and ham go so well together (if you don’t believe me, try this recipe for chicken and ham pie). Add a slice of cheese and a coating of crispy breadcrumbs and smother with a delicious honey mustard sauce and you have an easy chicken cordon bleu supper that the family will be begging you to make time and time again.
Cordon bleu actually derives from French; cordon = ribbon and bleu = blue, and the term cordon bleu is actually used to describe meals of an exceptionally high standard. And all it will take is one mouthful of this delicious chicken dish to understand why it is called chicken cordon bleu – this chicken is outstanding!!!
And the sauce. What can I say about this amazing honey mustard sauce that smothers the chicken? Honestly, this sauce is so good it deserves a recipe of its own. The combination of honey and mustard is a match made in heaven, but pair this with a tub of ricotta cheese and you have a sauce that is so lip-smackingly good that you will be eating it by the spoonful.
Traditionally, chicken cordon bleu is made by pounding chicken breast fillets with a meat mallet until they are thin enough to roll around slices of ham and cheese. For my easy version, I don’t bother doing that. I just make a slit in the whole chicken breast and stuff the ham and cheese into that. It tastes just as good, but takes half the time to prepare. And let’s face it when you’ve got a hungry family clamouring for their supper, speed is of the essence.
Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Kiev?
Some people make the mistake of calling this dish chicken kiev. In fact, I’ve seen it sold ready-made in supermarkets by this name. In actual fact, chicken cordon bleu and chicken kiev are both very similar in looks. Both are made from chicken fillets coated in breadcrumbs. It’s only when you slice into it that you see that chicken cordon bleu is stuffed with ham and cheese, whereas chicken kiev is stuffed with garlic butter.
So let’s get on to the recipe and see how to make chicken cordon bleu.
Ingredients you will need
** You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions to make chicken cordon bleu on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
Chicken breast fillets – a normal helping of chicken breasts is between 3 and 4 ounces (85g to 110g) so you will probably need to use medium-sized fillets. One per person should be sufficient.
Ham – I used sandwich ham – you can use any thinly sliced ham of your choice.
Cheese – Swiss cheese (gruyere) is a good choice as it holds its shape and doesn’t leak out during cooking. But you can get away with using a good quality sliced cheddar which is what I used here. Don’t use slices of processed cheese – it will be guaranteed to leak out all over the place 🙂 .
Sunflower or canola oil for frying. The amount you need will depend on the size of your frying pan.
For the crispy breadcrumb coating
Seasoned flour – this is just plain flour seasoned with a little salt and pepper.
Egg – lightly beaten – this acts as ‘glue’ to hold the breadcrumbs onto the chicken.
Breadcrumbs – I like to use Panko breadcrumbs because they are lovely and crispy. If you don’t have Panko you can make your own breadcrumbs by grating a couple of slices of day-old bread on a cheese grater, or by whizzing them around in a food processor.
For the (amazing) honey mustard sauce
Butter – this has to be butter. Please don’t substitute with yellow margarine.
Milk – There is no cream in the sauce recipe, so I used full-fat milk, but you can use semi-skimmed if you prefer.
Wholegrain mustard – the grains of mustard provide taste, but also texture to the sauce.
Honey – for a touch of sweetness.
Ricotta cheese – gives a creamy cheesy taste.
Flour – for thickening
Salt – for seasoning – this is optional but recommended for taste.
How to make chicken cordon bleu
- Pat the chicken with paper towels to remove any moisture. Cut the chicken lengthwise through the middle to butterfly it and sprinkle lightly with salt (image 1 above). You could also just cut a pocket into the chicken breast if you prefer.
- Place the ham on a flat surface, top with a slice of cheese and roll into a tube (image 2 above). Rolling the cheese in the ham helps prevent the cheese from leaking as it cooks and melts.
- Place the ham roll on the chicken, fold the chicken over to enclose the ham and secure with toothpicks (image 3 above).
- Make sure you don’t bury the toothpick too deeply into the chicken. You need to be able to grab hold of it to remove it before serving.
Coat the chicken with breadcrumbs.
- Get 3 dishes and put the seasoned flour in one, the beaten egg into the second, and the breadcrumbs into the third dish (image 1 above).
- Coat the chicken with seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Then dip into the egg, and finally coat with breadcrumbs, making sure to press the breadcrumbs on firmly (image 2 above).
- Put the chicken into the refrigerator and allow to chill while you make the sauce (see below). Chilling the chicken before cooking it will help the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken. 10 to 15 minutes will be ample time.
Fry the chicken cordon bleu
- Heat the oil in a frying pan until a few breadcrumbs dropped into the oil sizzle and turn brown after 15 seconds. You will need enough oil to shallow-fry the chicken, or just enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan. I have quite a large frying pan and I used about half a cup of oil.
- Place the pieces of crumbed chicken carefully into the oil and fry gently until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown (image 3 above).
- Take your time over this step and use a low heat. If the heat is too high, the breadcrumbs will brown before the chicken has had a chance to cook through. Turn down the heat if necessary. You will probably need about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove the toothpicks once the chicken has been cooked.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. If you can’t fit all the chicken into the pan, fry in batches and keep the cooked chicken warm in a low oven (74C/165F).
- If you have a meat thermometer, the chicken will be cooked when the internal temperature reaches 74C/165F. Otherwise, you can just cut one of the chicken pieces open and check that it is perfectly white on the inside.
Make the honey mustard sauce
You can make this sauce while the chicken is resting in the fridge.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan (image 1 above). Do this over a low heat so the butter does not brown.
- Remove from the heat and add the flour. Stir well to make sure all the lumps have been removed.
- Return to the heat and add the milk. Stir continuously as the milk heats and the sauce thickens (about 4 minutes). The sauce should have a smooth consistency that drops slowly from the spoon – about the consistency of pouring custard (image 2 above). The sauce will thicken further when you add the cheese.
- Now stir in the mustard, the honey and the ricotta cheese (image 3 above), and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
What to serve with chicken cordon bleu
I like to serve chicken cordon bleu with a helping of mashed potatoes and green vegetables. You could also serve it on a bed of fluffy white rice (see this post for how to cook rice in the microwave), with a helping of peas.
Chicken cordon blue also goes well with crispy french fries.
However you serve it, just don’t forget to cover the chicken with plenty of the delicious honey mustard sauce!!!
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Can I freeze chicken cordon bleu?
Yes, this dish can be frozen.
To freeze, prepare the chicken up to the stage where it has been coated in breadcrumbs (before frying) and place it on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment (to prevent sticking). Open freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen crumbed chicken pieces to a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can also each piece freeze individually in smaller bags.
Defrost in the refrigerator, which will take at least 3 hours, then fry as per the recipe instructions.
The beauty of freezing the chicken like this, is that you can prepare and freeze a large batch of crumbed chicken and then just remove the number of chicken pieces you need from the freezer.
I wouldn’t freeze the already fried chicken as the breadcrumbs would lose their crispiness once defrosted.
Storage and reheating
You can prepare the chicken in advance (up to the breadcrumb stage) and then leave, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to eat, fry as per the recipe instructions.
Leftover chicken can also be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days.
To re-heat cold, leftover chicken cordon bleu, place on a baking tray in a hot over for about 8 minutes, or until heated through.
Pin for later
Why not pin this recipe for chicken cordon bleu to your Pinterest board so you can make it later. Just click the image below.
Other chicken recipes
If you enjoyed this chicken cordon bleu, you may also enjoy some of my other easy chicken recipes.
- Crispy chicken schnitzels with creamy mushroom sauce
- Creamy chicken marsala with mushrooms
- Oven-baked peri-peri chicken – just like Nando’s
- Orange chicken thighs with a tangy sauce
- Easy chicken and mushroom puff pie with a gougere crust
- Sweet and sour chicken with homemade sauce
- Chicken Diane with brandy sauce
Chicken cordon bleu with honey mustard sauce recipe
Chicken cordon bleu with honey mustard sauce
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Small dishes
- 1 lb (450g) chicken breast fillets 4 fillets
- 3 ounce (100g) ham 4 slices
- 3 ounce (100g) Swiss or good quality cheddar cheese 4 slices
- ½ cup sunflower or canola oil for frying
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons flour seasoned with a little salt
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs allow extra if your chicken breasts are very large
Honey mustard sauce
- 2 ounce (60g) butter
- 1 cup full-fat milk substitute with semi-skimmed if preferred
- 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 8 ounce (250g) ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon flour for thickening
- salt to taste
Prepare the chicken
- Cut the chicken lengthwise in half and open out into a butterfly shape, or just cut a pocket into the chicken.
- Sprinkle the chicken lightly with salt (optional).
- Lay the ham on a flat surface and top each slice of ham with a slice of cheese. Roll up into a tube.
- Place the ham roll on the chicken and fold over to enclose, or place the ham roll into the pocket. Secure with toothpicks.
- Prepare 3 small dishes – place the flour in one and season with salt; place the beaten egg in another; place the breadcrumbs in the third.
- Dip the chicken in flour and shake off any excess. Then dip the chicken into the beaten egg. Finally, dip the chicken into the breadcrumbs, pressing the crumbs down firmly.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and leave in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill while you prepare the sauce.
Prepare the sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat. Do not allow the butter to brown.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, taking care to remove any lumps.
- Return to the heat, add the milk and allow it to come to the boil, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. This will take about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the mustard, the honey and the ricotta cheese and bring back to the boil. Season with salt to taste.
Fry the chicken
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan. The temperature will be correct when a few breadcrumbs dropped into the oil sizzle and turn brown after about 15 seconds.
- Carefully lower the chicken into the oil and fry for about 5 minutes per side until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Do not allow the pan to get too hot or the breadcrumbs will brown before the chicken has cooked through. Turn down the heat if necessary.
- The chicken will be cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 75°C/165°F, or when it is completely white on the inside (cut a piece in half to test).
- Remove the toothpicks, and serve immediately, covered in honey mustard sauce, alongside a pile of mashed potatoes and your choice of vegetables.
- Take care that the oil does not get too hot. Reduce the heat if necessary.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. If you can’t fit all the chicken into the pan, fry in batches and keep the cooked chicken warm in a low oven (75C/165F).
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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