Keep track of this Plank-Smoked Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe for the next time you need a “special-occasion / I-really-want-to-impress-my-dinner-guests” kind of recipe. You won’t be sorry. As you will be able to see by the photos I couldn’t stop taking, I was head over heals with this recipe and enjoyed eating every succulent bite. I will apologize now that you have to keep reading this without a plate of it sitting in front of you!
For Father’s Day, I try hard to make an unforgettable meal for my husband, but this year I kind of dropped the ball. Oh, it’s not that we had a sub-par meal by any means (unless you consider grilled steaks and homemade ice cream sub-par!), but I didn’t do anything completely unique, which made me feel a tiny bit like a slacker. I know, crazy, right? I redeemed myself later in the week by creating Plank-Smoked Chicken Cordon Bleu. This is the kind of over-the-top meal I would have rather made on Father’s Day, however, he was much happier that I hadn’t spent all day in the kitchen creating a new recipe so that we could spend more time together. Awwww… So, it was a win-win because the steak and ice cream was pretty incredible too!
So, about the Plank-Smoked Chicken Cordon Bleu. My husband adores Chicken Cordon Bleu, but for some reason it’s not a dish I think of making very often, so we only end up having it a couple times a year. He had mentioned it leading up to Father’s Day (another reason I felt like a bit of a slacker), so I thought I’d surprise him and make it later in the week. Since it has been so hot here, I thought it would be great if I could keep the heat out of my kitchen and grill the stuffed chicken rather than pan-frying or baking it.
I knew that with the glorious cheese stuffing, it would not work well to grill the chicken directly on the grill rack, or half of the cheese would end up melting out of the chicken and falling into oblivion on the grill. Enter the grilling plank”¦I had bought an 8-pack of grilling planks at Costco earlier this spring, which should make it no surprise that this will not be the only plank-smoked recipe you will see this summer! An 8-pack(!)”¦I’d say it’s ridiculous except that it’s not like the planks will go bad, so I can use them next summer too!
Anyway, the plank served its purpose so well! No cheese was lost, and what cheese did ooze out of the spiral-rolled chicken took on a browned, smoky flavor with slightly crisp edges. It was glorious!
The chicken itself also tasted subtly smoky and with the stuffing of the traditional ham and Swiss, as well as a little something extra I couldn’t help but add, this recipe turned out to be a winner-winner-chicken-dinner!
The “little something extra” I mentioned adding to the Chicken Cordon Bleu is a very simple mixture of finely chopped onion, fresh thyme, and spicy mustard. All three of those ingredients taste amazing with chicken, Swiss cheese and ham, so I figured this little addition would just serve to take the already delicious chicken over the top”¦and, it did as far as I’m concerned.
Why don’t you be the judge and give this Plank-Smoked Chicken Cordon Bleu a try when you get a little more time to cook dinner or when you want to impress your friends or family? While I will be the first to admit this is not a “quick and easy” type recipe, the chicken rolls can be made up to a day ahead so that all you have to do when you’re ready to eat is grill the chicken. I’m certain you’ll find it worthy of the extra time you’ll spend making it!
Soak the grilling plank in water for an hour or two before grilling so it doesn’t burn on the grill. It will get charred and darken on the bottom, so keep that in mind.
I use a chef’s knife to split chicken breast halves horizontally in half. I feel it’s easier to control than a long, thin knife.
Mix finely chopped onion with fresh thyme and spicy brown mustard. It takes this Chicken Cordon Bleu over the top!
Layer ham, Swiss cheese, and the onion mixture on top of the chicken pieces. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
Roll the chicken rolls in egg and then coat with a panko bread crumb mixture.
Place the chicken rolls on the soaked plank. Set directly on the grill over the heat to grill.
After 22 to 26 minutes, they are done!
Don’t you love oozing melty cheese that is slightly crispy and browned on the edges?
You’ll get a taste of all the fillings with every bite. In case you’re wondering, I served this with one of my favorite vegetable side dishes…Roasted Cauliflower (see that recipe here).
- 1 cedar or hickory grilling plank (16x7-inch size)
- 3 large chicken breast halves (1 ½ pounds total)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- 3 thin slices cooked ham (2 to 2 ½ ounces total)
- 4 thin slices Swiss cheese (4 ounces total)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Place grilling plank in a large pan. Add enough water to cover the plank. Use bowls to weight down the plank so it stays submersed in the water. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours before grilling.
- Using a large sharp knife, split each chicken breast half horizontally in half, to make six thin pieces of chicken. Lay chicken pieces flat on a cutting board. In a small bowl stir together onion, thyme, and mustard. Cut ham slices in half to make six pieces. Place one piece of ham atop each chicken piece. Cut the cheese slices in half or in thirds and arrange cheese evenly on top of ham (depending on the size of the chicken piece, you may use more than half a cheese slice per piece).
- Spoon onion mixture evenly atop cheese, mounding the onion mixture toward one end of each chicken piece. Starting at the end with the onion mixture, roll up chicken; secure the rolls closed with one or two toothpicks each. (Some of the onion mixture may fall out – press it back into the chicken as much as possible. The cheese and ham may stick out the far end a little.)
- In a shallow dish whisk together egg and milk. In another shallow dish combine panko, salt, and pepper. Roll chicken rolls, one at a time, in egg mixture to coat completely. Allow excess to drip off. Roll in panko mixture to coat completely.
- Arrange chicken rolls on the drained grilling plank. Using a Misto sprayer, coat tops of chicken lightly with olive oil (or, use a brush to lightly pat the oil onto the coating).
- For a charcoal or gas grill, set the grilling plank with the chicken rolls on top directly on the grill rack over medium coals or heat. Cover; grill for 22 to 26 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the centers (165°F). Do not turn chicken during grilling. The grilling plank may make loud popping noises occasionally during the grilling time.
- When the chicken is cooked through, use tongs and/or a long metal turner to transfer the grilling plank with the chicken rolls to a large pan (you can use the pan used to soak the plank – drain the water first). Carefully remove the chicken rolls from the grilling plank, making sure to scrape up and serve any cheese that has oozed out of the rolls.
- Make-ahead: Prepare as directed through step 4. Place chicken rolls on a plate. Cover and chill up to 24 hours. To serve, continue with step 5.
- 6 servings
- 275 cals, 35 g pro, 7 g carb, 11 g fat, 138 mg cholesterol, 5 g sat fat, 0 g fiber, 401 mg sodium