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Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu (with optional Asparagus)

By Bill Dwyer 

In spite of the name, this dish does not come from the famous Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris. It isn’t even a French recipe. Some American restaurant wanted to add some snob appeal to their menu back in the mid-1960s, and used the term “cordon bleu” instead of “deluxe” or “a la la-di-da”.  So don’t be intimidated. This is an easy dish to prepare and serve! 

Chicken Cordon Bleu is based on a meat preparation technique called roulade, in which a flattened cut of boneless meat, such as a veal cutlet, a pork tenderloin, or, in this case, a chicken breast is wrapped around other ingredients and then cooked. All the chicken cordon bleu recipes I’ve ever seen call for the same three main ingredients: flattened chicken breast halves, ham, and Swiss cheese. The use of other ingredients and cooking methods vary considerably from one chef to another. I decided to invent my own version. The main ingredients seemed to me to cry out for Dijon mustard. And I thought asparagus would be a perfect extra filling. You can omit the asparagus if you don’t like it or simply want a more “authentic” chicken cordon bleu. The following recipe serves two. 


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, flattened
  • 10 – 12 slices  prosciutto
  • 1 cup grated Emmenthal or Gruyere cheese
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dried tarragon flakes
  • 6 – 8 partly cooked asparagus spears (optional)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil
  • breadcrumbs



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
  2. If using asparagus, precook it by either roasting or sautéing it with a little olive oil. Cook it until it is about half-done – still firm when tested with a fork.
  3. Wash & dry the chicken breast halves with paper towels. Flatten each chicken breast half (including the “tenders”) to about ⅜ – ½ inch thick. The tidiest way to do this is to place them between sheets of plastic cling-wrap on a cutting board and pound them flat with a meat mallet. If you don’t have a meat mallet, use one end of a small unopened tin can (NOT a beer or soda can!). Remove the upper sheet of plastic wrap. 
  4. Layer each breast half with prosciutto. (If you can’t get any, use ham cold-cuts.) 
  5. In a small bowl, mix the cheese, mustard and tarragon into a spreadable paste, and spread it on the prosciutto. 
  6. If using asparagus, arrange the spears in a bundle near one edge of the assembled ingredients, leaving a margin of about an inch from the edges of the meat. If the asparagus spears are too long to do so, cut them in half. Add a spoonful of cheese/mustard mixture on top of the asparagus. Roll the assembly as tightly as you can, starting at the end with the asparagus. The mustard-cheese mixture acts as an adhesive to help with this step. 
  7. Place the roulades in a pan with 2 tbsp of melted butter or olive oil. Roll them in the butter or oil to coat. Transfer to a pan layered with breadcrumbs and roll them until coated. Then roll them in the butter or oil again. Fasten the ends and seams with toothpicks or stainless steel skewers. Place them on a rack in a baking dish and bake until the meat juices run clear when pricked with a knife (about 40 minutes). Turn the pan 180® halfway through to ensure even baking. 
  8. Plate and serve. 

Bon appétit!

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