'Plain' Cordon Bleu
By Chris Lundstrom Cookbooks have always been like a cooking textbook for me. If I have a recipe for something I can usually make it and have it turn out as it is supposed to. I guess no one ever told me it was hard to cook, so I approached every recipe with confidence.
Larry and I received a church cookbook from the pastor who married us more than 45 years ago. The ceremony was in a little country church in southern Lancaster County, Penn., so the recipes were shared by the members who were primarily plain women. ‘Plain’ is the word used to describe people who were similar to Mennonites and Amish. Many were farmer's wives and were raised to put good, simple food on the table. I made many of those recipes over the years. They are a taste of my roots and bring back memories of many meals prepared by my ‘plain’ relatives.
One of my favorite recipes – and my family's as well – is chicken cordon bleu. When I first tried this recipe, I had no idea that there was any other way to make this. Imagine my surprise when some years later I saw chicken cordon bleu in the store and it was breaded and fried. So like many things, there are different versions and none are right or wrong, just different.
My family prefers this version, but that could just be because of the familiarity of it.
While the dish is fancy enough to cook for company, it’s not complicated and it’s simple enough to cook on a week night. I invite you to adjust the recipe as you see fit and make it yours if you like. But I think it's pretty tasty just the way it is.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin to an even thickness
4 slices ham
4 slices swiss cheese
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 large onion, sliced
1/3 c. flour
4 tbsp. butter
3 c. milk
Lay one slice ham and swiss cheese on each chicken breast. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
Melt butter over medium heat in large skillet. Place chicken breast rolls carefully in the melted butter and saute, turning until lightly browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Add sliced mushrooms and onions to remaining butter in pan, sauteing them until they are tender. Sprinkle with flour and cook for about one minute, stirring constantly. (You are basically making a white sauce now.) Slowly add the milk to the mushroom, onion, and flour mixture and stir until combined. Continue cooking over medium heat until it thickens.
Return chicken to the sauce and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes until chicken is completely cooked.
Serve with rice or noodles. I made linguine this last time and mixed it in with the chicken and sauce before serving. It was excellent!
Make sure to serve this with a green vegetable or salad. Peas or green beans are nice, but broccoli, asparagus, or brussel sprouts make it a little more special. Any way you serve it, your family is sure to enjoy it.
Chris Lundstrom is just a normal person who loves to cook for her family and friends. Email her with comments or recipes at chrislundstrom88@ gmail.com