Chicken Cordon Bleu with Creamy Dijon Sauce

Chicken Cordon Bleu is near the top of the gourmet food chain, but it’s so easy to make your dinner guests will understandably assume you trained for years in a Paris three star restaurant.

At its core, chicken cordon bleu is flattened chicken breast rolled with ham and swiss cheese, breaded and fried. Like most French entree’s Cordon Bleu is an amazing dish by itself, but what really gives it a gourmet boast is the sauce. And like all French sauces, it seems simple to make but is difficult to master – as are all roux-based sauces. But the only way to master French sauces is to practice, practice, practice.


  • 4 chicken breasts – boneless and skinless
  • 16 slices of Swiss cheese – sliced thin
  • 16 slices of ham – sliced thin
  • 1 TBL garlic powder
  • 1 TBL onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs – beaten
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Peanut oil or vegetable oil – for frying
  • Dijon sauce
    • 3 TBL butter
    • 3 TBL flour
    • 16 oz. whole milk
    • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
    • 2 cloves garlic – minced
    • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare ingredients in advance.
  2. Prepare chicken
    1. Wash then pat dry each breast.
    2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to evenly coat.
    3. Place a piece of film on a counter-top or cutting board and then place a breast in the center. Cover with another piece of film.
    4. Pound breast with a wood mallet (or rolling pin) until ~3/8″ thick.
      1. Don’t be overly aggressive or you will pound holes in breast.
    5. Remove top film and place 2 slices of cheese, then 2 slices of ham to cover breast. Repeat with 2 more cheese and ham slices.
    6. Evenly roll the chicken like a cigar and place onto new film sheet.
    7. Tightly wrap chicken twisting the excess film on both ends to firm up wrap and hold film. Tie each end with a twist-tie.
    8. Chill the chicken rolls in fridge for at least 30 mins. This allows the roll to relax into its shape, which is important during step four.
  3. Heat a large tall-sided pan and add oil to 325F. Suggest using a cast iron Dutch oven.
  4. Prepare coating
    1. In separate, wide, flat-bottom dishes, put flour, beaten eggs and panko.
    2. Dredge chicken first in flour making sure you coat all exposed flesh.
    3. Coat with egg wash, and then roll in panko.
    4. If chicken starts to unwrap, stick toothpicks into flap or tie.
  5. Cook Chicken – place chicken in hot oil and cook ~5 mins per side or until golden brown.
    1. If chicken browns on outside but inside is below 165F, your oil was too hot. Place undercooked chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and put in oven at 325F until internal temperature is reached.
      1. The wire rack is important, otherwise chicken gets soggy.
      2. Rest chicken in warmed oven while making sauce.
  6. Make Sauce:
    1. In a small sauce pan, melt butter and then cook garlic until soft
    2. Make Roux:
      1. Add flour and whisk for ~1 min until a nutty aroma emanates.
      1. Add the milk slowly in stages while you stir, the initial reaction is impressive, but don’t panic, just keep slowly adding milk while you stir. You add in stages to avoid getting lumps.
    3. Once the milk is fully incorporated, keep stirring until the sauce simmers and starts to thicken.
    4. Remove pan from heat and add mustard and Parmesan cheese (don’t use the cheap already shredded cheese, it is coated in corn starch which prevents the cheese from melting properly and overly thickens your sauce).
  7. Plating
    1. Slice the chicken and serve drizzled with sauce
    2. Since this entrée is coated in starch, choosing a proper starch side and vegetable is tricky.
      1. While an odd choice, boiled buckwheat with butter or black rice are good options.
      2. For your vegetable, sautéed carrots if you need color or steamed broccoli are good choices. Brussel sprouts can work, but boiled not roasted, you have enough fried food already.

I like to serve this meal with freshly baked begets still warm.