Proof That Bacon Improves Anything [chicken cordon bleu]

In case you didn’t already know.

One of my nearest and dearest has taken to bookmarking my recipes, and she planned to try out two this weekend.  While enjoying some post-work cocktails on Friday, a special someone in her life mentioned that he really likes chicken cordon bleu.  And just like that, I remembered one of the best dishes that ever happened to me.

The story of my particular chicken cordon bleu begins about 6 years ago.  My then boyfriend, now husband, had just moved into an apartment on campus and after two years of being kitchenless, I saw a light.  And the light was a stove.  With it, came endless possibilities.  My favorite meal from the dining hall (though I shudder when I think about that particular version now) was chicken cordon bleu.  So that’s what I searched for when I turned to Allrecipes (this was 2005, and I hadn’t yet discovered food blogs).

The first time I made this, I loved it.  And this dish has come along since its inception all those years ago.  This particular go-round, I was out of ham, so I used bacon. It might be my most ingenious move yet.  It’s decadent.  It’s delicious.

You will need:

  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 3 slices Swiss cheese
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1/2 C dry white wine
  • 1 t chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/4 C cream

Fry up the bacon in a skillet, and set on paper towels to drain.  Leave the grease in the pan (keep the heat on, as low as it will go, unless the sizzle become too much).

Mix the flour and paprika in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in it.  Turn up the flame on your stove to medium and saute the chicken until it’s brown on all sides.

Add the wine and bouillon and cut the heat back to low.  Cover the pan and let the chicken cook for about 25 minutes, until it is cooked through (it’s never a bad idea to check on your own chicken a little early).  Once it’s cooked, lay a slice of cheese atop each piece, along with two strips of bacon.  Cover the pan again, and cook the chicken for 2 minutes more.

Transfer the chicken to a warm plate, and add the cream to the pan.  Stir until it’s thickened just a little.  This sauce is rich and packed with flavor.  All good things with cream are.  Don’t be afraid.

Serve the chicken, with as much sauce as you can handle over top.

I don’t remember the last time I made this dish, and I certainly didn’t remember how much I like it.  It’s not an everyday meal, but once in a while, a little bacon and cream can really hit the spot.

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