One of the key steps in preparing Chicken Cordon Bleu is achieving that flawless roll, ensuring that every bite reveals a delightful combination of tender chicken, savory ham (it's a great way to use leftover ham), and gooey Swiss cheese. To kickstart this culinary masterpiece, it's important to use plastic wrap in the rolling process, suggests Tasting Table recipe developer Catherine Brookes.
Begin by pounding the chicken breast flat to create a thin, uniform surface between two sheets of plastic wrap. Once flattened and tenderized, remove the top layer of plastic wrap from the chicken and layer it with the slices of ham and Swiss cheese. Once the stuffing is neatly arranged, carefully lift one end of the plastic wrap and gently roll the chicken breast over the filling, using the wrap to guide the roll into a compact cylinder. To finish, twist the ends to cinch the roll closed like a sausage.
The plastic wrap acts as a helpful assistant, allowing for a tight and even roll while keeping the stuffing securely encased. This technique not only facilitates the rolling process but also minimizes the risk of the stuffing escaping and aids in storage if you're making the Chicken Cordon Bleu ahead of time. Just remember to remove the plastic wrap before cooking. There's also a good reason for putting it in the fridge, at least for a little while.
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Keep Chicken Cordon Bleu Cold Before Cooking
After achieving the perfect roll, a crucial next step is maintaining the shape throughout the cooking process. Refrigerating the rolled chicken is a highly effective strategy. Place the rolled chicken on a tray or plate, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The cold environment helps the chicken firm up and the layers adhere, helping lock in the rolled shape and hopefully preventing any potential unraveling during cooking.
Alternatively, if you're eager to get cooking without the waiting time, toothpicks can come to the rescue. While kitchen twine might seem like a smart choice, it can disrupt the crumb crust that is a signature element of Chicken Cordon Bleu. Strategically insert toothpicks at intervals through the seam of the rolled chicken, securing it tightly. It's important to remove the toothpicks before serving to prevent any surprises at the dining table. With these tips in mind, you'll be on your way to impressing friends and family with a beautifully rolled and delectably stuffed Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.