Toast your breadcrumbs in the oven. Tip dry breadcrumbs onto a baking tray and spread out evenly. Place in the center of a preheated oven (350 degrees F) and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Check at 5 minutes and stir.
Flatten or butterfly (cut in half horizontally) your chicken breasts. I find pounding with a wooden tenderizer or large rolling pin is easiest.
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and place the chicken breast on top of this. Place a second piece of plastic wrap over the chicken. Take a rolling pin or tenderizer and pound or roll out the chicken until flat.
Lay out the flat chicken breasts side by side and top each one with a layer of Swiss cheese, then a layer of ham.
Roll up each breast into a pinwheel with the cheese and ham on the inside.
You need 3 large shallow bowls. Place the flour in the first dish, two whisked eggs in the second dish, and toasted breadcrumbs in the third dish.
Carefully take each chicken breast and, one at a time, roll in the flour until fully coated.
Roll the floured chicken in the whisked egg.
Finally, place into the breadcrumbs and fully coat all over.
Next, place each chicken breast onto its own piece of plastic wrap. Use the wrap to roll up tightly and seal off each end. Once sealed, roll the chicken into a nice round cylinder shape.
Chill the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so the shape will set and hold while cooking. If you are preparing the recipe in advance, you can leave it in the fridge all day before cooking.
To make the cordon bleu sauce:
Place a small pan on low to medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Once it melts, add flour and stir into a paste. This paste is known as a roux.
Slowly begin adding the milk. Add the milk gradually and continuously stir to prevent lumps from forming.After each addition of milk, stir the sauce well. Allow it to thicken again before adding more milk.Continue to stir after adding milk until the sauce thickens. When it simmers, remove from the heat.
While the sauce is still hot, add parmesan and stir in until it melts and the sauce is smooth.
Cooking the chicken cordon bleu:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Unwrap the chicken and place on a baking tray. Bake for 35 minutes, or until chicken is piping hot and cooked through.
Serving the chicken cordon bleu:
Once the chicken is cooked remove from the oven and slice.
Plate up and drizzle over the creamy parmesan sauce.
Roll out one breast at a time: We recommend rolling out just one chicken breast at a time to save space.
Wash your hands: Wash egg off your hands before trying to coat with the breadcrumbs. This keeps things cleaner and stops the breadcrumbs sticking to you rather than the chicken!
What to do if lumps form: If your sauce looks like it may form lumps, remove from the heat. Stir until smooth, then return to the heat and continue to add milk. If your sauce gets too lumpy, you can run it through a sieve and reheat it.
Reheating Cordon bleu sauce: Creamy parmesan sauce will get thicker as it cools; however, once returned to the heat, it will loosen up again. Add a bit more milk to smooth out the consistency when reheating, if necessary.
Chilling and freezing: Once the raw chicken has been prepared and wrapped it can either be chilled in the fridge for up to one day or frozen for up to 1 month before cooking. If chilled, unwrap and place in the oven immediately for 35 minutes or until cooked through, If frozen, defrost throughly in the fridge for 24 hours then cook as above.