Today is National Cordon Bleu Day. “Le Cordon Bleu” is french for “the blue ribbon,” and originally referred to Le Cordon Bleu school, which is the largest culinary and hospitality management educational institution in the world. In the U.S. Cordon Blue usually refers to a dish made from breaded chicken filets, ham, and cheese. In spite of its french name, the meal is American in origin, dating back to the 1960s. There are many variations of Chicken Cordon Bleu, and due to the dish’s popularity many of today’s fast-food chains are selling Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwiches on their menus.
As much as Chris and I love the simple dinners provided by a stop at the drive-thru window, tonight we decided to try our hand at making Chicken Cordon Bleu at home. I’ve loved Chicken Cordon Bleu for years, ever since I was a kid and first discovered it at Sizzler, so a fast food version just wasn’t going to be satisfactory. I started my quest by browsing several recipes and, though I often find that the simpler ones turn out just as good as the complex (maybe it just seems that way to me because I’m not really a ‘foodie”), in this case I avoided the easier recipes because they sounded a little to dry. I settled for a recipe that, in addition to the regular staples of chicken, ham, and cheese, also called for white wine, whipping cream, and chicken bouillon. It was still pretty easy to prepare, and the 30 minute simmer time gave me an opportunity to do the dishes and work on some other chores while a wonderful aroma filled the kitchen. Chris made a lovely side of brussels sprouts and red onions to compliment the creamy chicken.
Chris thinks today has been the best food-related “unofficial” so far. He loved the chicken cordon bleu dinner and kept saying “mmmmm” as he scarfed down each bite. I have to agree that the meal was great — so great, in fact, that I was surprised I made it. Yay for me! I think the defining factor for this recipe was the wonderfully thick and creamy sauce made from the leftover juices, heavy cream, and boullion granules. We have some yummy leftovers hanging out in the fridge and I’m sure they will be beckoning to us when we pack our lunches in the morning!
Right now I’m so stuffed, I can’t even think about how we’re going to celebrate tomorrow — it’s National Deep Dish Pizza Day!