SAN ANTONIO – Technically, this isn’t the classic recipe for Cordon Bleu - it’s my own version - and since my wife loves it, that’s what matters!
When we were little, my mom used to always fix Cornish Hens for our big Christmas dinner. We always thought it was “grown-up” and formal to have our own little hens.
If you want to look up how to remove the bones from a chicken, I recommend the famous Chef Jacques Pepin. I watched him do it once on TV and that’s all it took; it’s really not that difficult.
Cornish Game Hen Cordon Bleu
With white wine sauce, rice and snow peas
- 4 Cornish game hens (or 4 chicken breasts, skin on)
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, to dollop a couple of spoonfuls on each hen/breast
- 1/2 lb. sliced swiss cheese
- 1/2 lb. sliced ham
- White wine
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- Butter, cold
- Snow peas
- Cooked white rice
Bring your Cornish game hens to room temperature. If you don’t want to take the time, you can use a boneless chicken breast. Be sure to leave the skin on.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
On the inside of the hens/breasts, salt and pepper, put a few pats of butter, some fresh rosemary and a couple of dollops of Dijon mustard on each. Then add swiss cheese and ham. It’s best that the cheese and ham are in smaller pieces because the breast has to be rolled up. Use as much as you’d like (I like a lot of cheese).
Roll the hens/breasts and tie the rolls with kitchen twine. This can be the hardest part, trying to keep everything tucked inside.
Roast hens/breast on a pan at 400°F for about 40 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
For the sauce, simmer white wine in a sauce pot at medium heat until the wine has reduced by half. Turn off the heat and stir in a few pats of cold butter while the wine is still warm.
Snow peas are great to serve with the hens/breasts, but remember to take the “string” out. Just break the stem end and pull the string out along the seam edge.
Serve over warm rice. Slice the breast for presentation and drizzle a few spoonfuls of the sauce over it.