A friend asked me for advice about making the long-time classic dish Chicken Cordon Bleu. If you don't recall, it's a paillard (flattened) piece of chicken topped or stuffed with ham and cheese, dipped in an egg batter and bread crumbs then suateed or otherwise fried.
After sharing a little advice about keeping the dish as simple as possible, and to use high quality (and expensive) Gruyere cheese, I mentioned that I'd probably make that dish soon. So a day later, with chicken breasts on sale and a quick trip to grab some gruyere, I got underway.
However, I wasn't keen on breading and frying. I also had freshly made bread. So I decided to grill the chicken, use fat slices of andouille instead of ham. I also grilled some red and yellow peppers. I pictured kind of an open faced chicken, cheese, andioulle sandwich - using bread instead of breadcrumbs. Well - the grill looked nice:
I pictured this as being quite dry.....so I heated some butter with garlic slices, and spread a bit on the chicken pieces and the bread slices. I hid the Grueyere under the chicken when I stacked up the ingredients, so it would melt and be a "surprise" when bitten into. Having already departed from the original ingredients by adding the red peppers, I also added carmelized onions that were left over from a day or two ealier.
OK - at this point, the dish has little to do with Chicken Cordone Blue other than chicken and cheese. Here's what it looked like:
Cajun Chicken Cordon Blue/Bleu
2 pounds chicken breasts, flattened to 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound andouille, sliced
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper
4 ounces gruyere cheese, sliced
8 slices high quality bread
-- Melt butter with garlic, do not brown.
-- Slice peppers into 4 parts, cutting around seeds and core. Place on grill skin side down until charred.
-- Place andouille slices on grill, and cook 5 minutes.
-- Brush butter lightly over chicken pieces, and grill 2 minutes per side.
-- Brush remaining butter on bread slices, and toast on grill
-- Remove skins from peppers
Assemble stack: bread, cheese, chikcen, pepper, sausage.