When you’re looking for a way to turn ho-hum chicken breasts into a “Wow!” dinner, these gluten free chicken cordon bleu bundles are just the thing!
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new ways to serve skinless boneless chicken breasts. Chicken is the one type of meat that I buy every single time I go to the grocery store, and if it’s on sale I buy and freeze. There’s just something about rolling up ham and cheese into those humble chicken breasts, then breading and baking them. Add a simple mustard cream sauce, and your gluten free chicken cordon bleu will be the stuff of family legends.
I generally make my own Panko-style gluten free bread crumbs in bulk, then store them either in the refrigerator or the freezer until I’m ready to use them. But I also have been known to grind simple gluten free corn flakes and use those in place of bread crumbs. Or even Rice Chex (although I prefer to use a cereal that doesn’t have any sugar, and Rice Chex doesn’t qualify).
My family didn’t eat a lot of ham growing up, which means the only time I ever had chicken cordon bleu is at a restaurant. These chicken bundles are much lighter and fresher, while still being packed with flavor. Although it’s traditionally made with Swiss cheese, since it’s a bit of a harder cheese so it melts more slowly, I much prefer the flavor of provolone in this dish. Some of the provolone cheese may leak out of the bundles, but that melted cheese might just be my favorite part. Except for the sauce. And the super moist chicken. Okay it’s all my favorite. Make it your family’s, too!
Gluten Free Chicken Cordon Bleu
For the chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
8 slices Provolone or Swiss cheese
8 slices deli ham
1 cup (140 g) gum-free gluten free flour blend (92 g superfine white rice flour + 31 g potato starch + 17 g tapioca starch/flour)
Egg wash (2 eggs + 2 tablespoons milk, beaten)
1 1/2 cups gluten free Panko-style bread crumbs
Cooking oil spray
For the sauce
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (27 g) gum-free gluten free flour blend (18 g superfine white rice flour + 6 g potato starch + 3 g tapioca starch/flour) (or try an equal amount of superfine sweet white rice flour)
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) chicken stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 cups (8 fluid ounces) milk (any kind, just not nonfat)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
Prepare the chicken bundles. Lay out the chicken breasts on a flat surface. Place one slice of cheese on top of each breast, followed by two slices of ham, and finally one slice of cheese. Beginning at a short end of each chicken breast, roll tightly to the other end. Secure each end with a toothpick straight through from the top to the bottom. Set up a coating station of three shallow bowls: one with the floor blend, one with the egg wash, and one with the bread crumbs. Dredge each chicken bundle in the flour, then the egg wash on all sides, allowing any excess to drip off, and finally in the bread crumbs on all sides, pressing the crumbs gently onto the chicken to secure them. Place the bundles, seam side down, about an inch apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the bundles with cooking oil spray.
Bake the chicken. Cover the baking sheet loosely with foil, place it in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue to bake until the chicken reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer and the bread crumb coating is lightly golden brown (about another 5 minutes).
While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce. In a medium-size, heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour blend and whisk until well-combined. Cook for 1 minute, or until the flour starts to become fragrant. Add the chicken stock and the thyme, and whisk until well-combined. Allow to cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture thickens (about 3 minutes). Add the milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder and mustard, and whisk until well-combined. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until thickened (about another minute). Remove the sauce from the heat, and remove the mostly bare thyme sprigs (leaving behind the leaves). Add the grated cheese, and whisk to combine. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the toothpicks from each bundle, slice by cross-section and serve drizzled with the sauce.