Cordon bleu (dish)

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Cordon bleu
A schnitzel cordon bleu, as served in Switzerland
Place of originSwitzerland
Main ingredientsVeal or chicken breast, cheese, ham, bread crumbs

A cordon bleu or schnitzel cordon bleu is a dish of meat wrapped around cheese (or with cheese filling), then breaded and pan-fried or deep-fried. Veal or pork cordon bleu is made of veal or pork pounded thin and wrapped around a slice of ham and a slice of cheese, breaded, and then pan fried or baked.[1] For chicken cordon bleu chicken breast is used instead of veal.[2] Ham cordon bleu is ham stuffed with mushrooms and cheese.[3]


The French term cordon bleu is translated as "blue ribbon".[4] According to Larousse Gastronomique cordon bleu "was originally a wide blue ribbon worn by members of the highest order of knighthood, L'Ordre des chevaliers du Saint-Esprit, instituted by Henri III of France in 1578. By extension, the term has since been applied to food prepared to a very high standard and by outstanding cooks. The analogy no doubt arose from the similarity between the sash worn by the knights and the ribbons (generally blue) of a cook's apron."[5][6]


The origins of cordon bleu as a schnitzel filled with cheese are in Brig, Switzerland, probably about the 1940s, first mentioned in a cookbook from 1949. The earliest reference to "chicken cordon bleu" in The New York Times is dated to 1967, while similar veal recipes are found from at least 1955.[6]


Chicken cordon bleu with Brussels sprouts

There are many variations of the recipe, all of which involve a cutlet, cheese, and meat. A popular way to prepare chicken cordon bleu is to butterfly cut a chicken breast, place a thin slice of ham inside, along with a thin slice of a soft, easily melted cheese. The chicken breast is then rolled into a roulade, coated in bread crumbs and then deep fried.[7] Other variations exist with the chicken baked[8] rather than fried.

Other common variations include omitting the bread crumbs,[9] wrapping the ham around the chicken, or using bacon in place of ham.[10]

A variant popular in the Asturias province of Spain is cachopo, a deep-fried cutlet of veal, beef or chicken wrapped around a filling of Serrano ham and cheese.[11] In Spain, the version made with chicken is often called san jacobo.

In largely Muslim-populated countries, the halal versions of chicken cordon bleu are also popular, such that the chicken is rolled around beef or mutton instead of pork product.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charles Anderson, Derek Blakemore -Modern food service – Page 51 1991 Cordon Bleu – Sliced ham and gruyere cheese in an escalope of veal
  2. ^ FoodFest 365!: The Officially Fun Food Holiday Cookbook – Page 82 Yvan Lemoine – 2010 "The first account of Chicken Cordon Bleu appeared as part of an advertisement for United Airlines in the New York Times
  3. ^ The Everything Almost Homemade Cookbook Linda Larsen – 2009 – Serve with a green salad and bread sticks. Ham Cordon Bleu Instead of chicken stuffed with ham and cheese, ham is stuffed with mushrooms and cheese in this twist on the classic.
  4. ^ "The Phrase Finder"
  5. ^ Larousse Gastronomique, completely updated and revised. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2001, p. 340.
  6. ^ a b Olver, Lynne. "Chicken Cordon Bleu". The Food Timeline.
  7. ^ ""
  8. ^ "The Food Network"
  9. ^ ""
  10. ^ "
  11. ^ "Cachopo". Guia Repsol. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.