These Chicken Cordon Bleu appetizers will be perfect for your party!  They are baked instead of fried, so you can even rationalize that they are good for you. 🙂  Just make a lot of them—they will go fast.

I like to use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts because they will stay more moist and have a more intense chicken flavor.  Just cut the thighs into small pieces and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Next you need some slices of Swiss cheese and ham, so head to the deli department of your favorite store.  Black Forest ham works great, but feel free to pick your favorite kind.  Then cut each slice into strips.  Each slice will yield three to four strips about 3/4 inch wide and 3 or 4 inches long.  The ham strips should be slightly longer than the cheese strips.

Assembly time!  Start with a strip of ham and then place a strip of cheese on top.

Now place a small piece of chicken on top of the cheese.  The chicken goes near the end of the strip.

Start rolling!

Use a toothpick to secure the ham, chicken and cheese roll.

Now it is time for the breading.  You will need three bowls.  Place flour, salt and pepper in the first bowl.  Egg blended with a little water or milk goes in the second bowl.  Then panko bread crumbs seasoned with some fresh chopped thyme fills the third bowl.  The toothpicks not only keep the chicken rolls together, but they also make it a little less messy to coat the chicken.  First, lightly coat the chicken rolls with flour.  Don’t forget to cover the sides too!  Then dip them in the egg mixture.  A spoon is useful to get them completely coated.  Let the excess egg drip off.  Then coat the chicken rolls with Panko bread crumbs.  Again, make sure to coat the sides with crumbs too!  That will help keep the cheese from oozing out while they bake.

Place the chicken rolls on a parchment-coated baking sheet.

Lightly spray the rolls with cooking spray or oil from an oil mister.  Bake the chicken rolls in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove the toothpicks before serving.  You can serve the Chicken Cordon Bleu appetizers plain or with a dipping sauce.  A spicy, apricot sauce works great.  Just heat some apricot jam with a pinch of red pepper flakes.  Thin the sauce with a little water or soy sauce for the desired consistency.

This recipe was inspired by, and is similar to, one of Rachel Ray’s recipes.  Click here to check out her recipe.  It is great too!  The difference is that I prefer dark meat for the chicken, fresh rather than dried thyme, and Panko rather than regular bread crumbs.  I also like to use toothpicks to make the whole process easier.


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