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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Always, ALWAYS keep your chicken cold when making this recipes for stuffed chicken below. Take them from the refrigerator, work with them as needed and plop them right back into the refrigerator, only removing chicken as you pound, fill, roll and bread them. When they are all filled and ready to cook, place them back into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This seems to work perfectly to help prevent any stuffing ingredients from leaking out while cooking, as well as after cooking.

I have played with so may different types of breadings and, although most were great, they weren't perfect. I wanted the "bite" of Panko, but not as crispy. I wanted the flavor of cracker and bread crumbs, but more "bite". Simple solution really. I used Panko crumbs ground in a food processor to the consistency of cracker crumbs while combining it with the same amount of dried bread and cracker crumbs. This gave me the perfect "bite" and the perfect flavor. And wouldn't you know it, perfection finally!

One of my all-time favorite indulgences. Salty, crispy, cheesy and.....well, hammy! It is just plain perfection, finally!


For 4 people


  • 15 butter flavored of whole wheat crackers
  • 1/2 cup(s) panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup(s) plain, dried bread crumbs
  • 1 cup(s) flour
  • 6 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon(s) dijon mustard
  • 8 thin ham slices
  • 2 cup(s) shredded swiss cheese
  • 4 chicken breast halves

Chicken Cordon Bleu Directions

  1. Pulse crackers and Panko crumbs in a food processor until coarsely ground. Remove to a bowl and add the bread crumbs. Drizzle in butter over the top and incorporate well. Transfer to shallow dish. Place the flour in a shallow bowl as well. Beat the eggs with the mustard and place in a third shallow bowl.
  2. Top each ham slice with 1/4 c. cheese and roll tightly; set aside.
  3. With the bottom of a frying pan or a mallet, pound chicken until about 1/2-inch thick between 2 sheets of film wrap. If they look rather large, that is perfectly fine. Each piece of flattened chicken should be approximately rectangular in shape. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place a piece of chicken in front of you with the shortest side furthest away. Lay a roll of ham and cheese near one side of each breast and roll tightly, tucking in the ends as well, securing the edges of the chicken together with toothpicks.. Transfer chicken to plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 10 minutes.
  4. One at a time, coat stuffed chicken lightly with flour, dip into egg mixture, and dredge in crumbs, pressing to adhere. Refrigerate 30 minutes. When you have 10 minutes left of cooling the rolled chicken, preheat oven to 350-degrees F, transfer chicken to baking sheet and bake until golden brown and chicken registers 165 degrees F, 25-30 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite side dish.