Chicken Cordon Bleu has become one of the most favored ways to prepare chicken over the years. The dish has become a staple to many fine dining restaurants in the United States and is sometimes confused with Chicken Kiev.
The origin of the dish has been a common misconception among people due to its French-sounding name. Many believe it hails from France along with the Chicken Kiev which actually a Russian delicacy but contrary to popular belief, Chicken Cordon Bleu comes from Switzerland.
Chicken Cordon Bleu can be a very heavy meal by itself. If you pair it with another heavy side like mashed potatoes, Alfredo pasta, or luscious butter sauces, you will soon find out the meal screams out for the addition of something healthy.
There are many different choices to go with like a steamed veggie medley, fresh side salads, and grilled or sauteed vegetables. Going with an additional healthy side will help balance out the meal and will not leave you feeling bad about yourself after dinner.
- How To Make Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Heavier Sides
- Lighter Sides
- Wines To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Best Desserts To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Best Sauces To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Related Guides
How To Make Chicken Cordon Bleu
The popular entrée consists of chicken breast that has been pounded out thinly and wrapped around ham and Swiss cheese. It is then breaded and deep-fried or baked until golden brown and crispy.
The dish can be made with pork or veal as well but chicken has been the preferred choice of protein for years. Since Chicken Cordon Bleu is such a versatile dish it can pretty much pair with any kind of side of your choosing. However, there are some that work better than others.
Since Chicken Cordon Bleu is able to be paired with so many different side dishes, it can seem somewhat daunting trying to figure out which one to choose. Since the dish is very closely related to fried chicken, starchy side dishes are always going to pair well.
Any kind of potato, rice, or pasta is a great choice to choose. If you take that route, you may want to pair it with a vegetable as well just to balance out the whole meal.
The number one choice of sides to serve with chicken cordon bleu is going to be a potato dish. There are many different directions to take when preparing your potatoes but there are a few that may work better than some of the other choices available to you.
Since chicken cordon bleu has a crunchy exterior and tender interior, a great choice to go with would be mashed potatoes. This is merely a suggestion based on the overall texture of the dish.
The smooth and rich mashed potatoes will complement the chicken cordon bleu nicely and make it easier to eat both at the same time.
You could also go with other types of potato side dishes like herb roasted potatoes, au gratin potatoes, or a side baked potato as well. It just really depends on the textures you want to include with your meal to compliment or contrast the overall dish.
Another great starchy side to try is rice. There are plenty of types to choose from to accompany your entrée. The type of rice you decide to go with will really just depend on your preference.
Some great choices to consider would be wild rice, rice pilaf, or plain white rice with mild seasoning. You want to make sure that the rice you choose will not be overly seasoned to avoid foreshadowing the chicken cordon bleu.
You want the chicken to speak for itself and the rice is just there to act as a filler or a companion. The chicken cordon bleu needs to remain the star of the entrée and not be the second-best on the plate.
If you still want to have a somewhat heavier or starchy side with your chicken cordon bleu but still want to stay in the realm of eating healthy, then whole grains are right up your alley. There are plenty to choose from but some may be a little more difficult to cook than others.
Most whole grains will differ in the amount of time they take to cook and the way you prepare them when compared to regular old rice. Some great healthy options to try out could be quinoa, farro, or lentils.
These are some of the best choices to pair with chicken cordon bleu but will take a bit more attention when preparing them. Whole grains are not for everyone but they are very healthy for you and contain loads of essential nutrients and vitamins that are known to have healing elements or lower your chance of several diseases.
As always, pasta is a great choice because it is easy to cook and goes great with everything. You could go with just about any kind of pasta you like but what you need to think about is the sauce you choose for your pasta.
More than likely you will be making a sauce to accompany your chicken cordon bleu which is why you need to be selective with the type of sauce you choose for your pasta. You want to make sure that the pasta sauce is going to be cohesive with the chicken cordon bleu in terms of flavor.
If you don’t plan on serving a sauce with your chicken cordon bleu then some good choices to go with would be a cream-based sauce or a citrus-based sauce. Options like lemon and basil capellini pasta or lemon garlic paradelle.
For cream-based pasta, try going with a simple fettuccini alfredo pasta bake or a nice mushroom egg noodle stroganoff. These kinds of pasta will complement the chicken cordon bleu nicely without having too many contrasting flavors.
One of the last options I want to mention is risotto. If you have never had risotto or cooked it for that matter, it can be a little time-consuming to make but the end result is phenomenal.
As I mentioned before, you still want to make sure to keep it simple and not make the risotto the star on the plate.
Risotto can be paired with just about anything and you can also add just about any type of ingredient to the dish as well. Since it is a side dish in this instance, go with very simple ingredients and don’t go crazy with the additional ingredients.
A rich and creamy parmesan risotto would pair nicely with chicken cordon bleu. If you wanted you could add one or two vegetables to the risotto as well such as asparagus or mushrooms.
Risotto can be on the heavier side of things so make sure to keep the portions small and tight on the plate.
6.Steamed, Sauteed, Or Grilled Vegetables
As always, vegetables will be a great addition to your meal. Any type of vegetable will bring a nice and healthy element to the plate to elevate the freshness of the dish.
You can cook the vegetables any way you like but steaming, sauteing or grilling will be the best methods to choose from. Some vegetables will benefit from certain cooking methods over others, so choose your vegetables and cooking methods wisely. Here are some great options to try out:
- Haricot Vert- These are essential frenched green beans. Not the ones in the can either. Try blanching or parboiling the beans in boiling water for a few minutes to start. Then sauté them in a pan with butter, shallot, garlic, and bacon for a delicious side dish.
- Asparagus- Asparagus is one of those vegetables that can be cooked in a multitude of ways and still be great. One of my favorite ways to cook them is on the grill. Coat them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and grill them until soft and tender.
- Brussel Sprouts- These can be steamed or braised but the best way to cook them is by roasting them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. You will want to cut them in half or quarter them as well depending on their size to make the roasting process easier.
- Summer Squash- The best types of squash to go with are going to be yellow squash, zucchini or pattypan squash. They cook very easily in a sauté pan or on the grill with a little salt, pepper and oil.
- Broccoli and Broccolini- This is one of the main vegetable options people like to choose because of how easy it is to cook and pair with entrees. Steaming the broccoli first then adding some butter salt and pepper is a great way to go or baking broccolini in a pan with butter, seasonings, and parmesan cheese.
If all else fails when choosing a vegetable side, you can always go with a fresh salad from your garden with your favorite dressing. I would usually go with a creamy or acidic element to complement the chicken cordon bleu in terms of dressings.
Dressings with bright citrus flavors or tangy vinaigrettes work nicely or creamy dressings like Caesar and buttermilk flavors match well. Overall, you want to make sure the dressing will work well with the flavors of chicken cordon blue and not overpower them.
Try to stay away from dressings that are too aggressive like ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, or thousand islands. They will end up masking the delicate flavors of the chicken cordon bleu in the end.
Wines To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu
When trying to choose a wine to accompany chicken cordon bleu the answer is pretty straightforward. Since the type of meat being used is chicken breast, you should choose a wine that will complement that particular section. These wines tend to be white wines and can be light and fruity or rich and wholesome.
If you are wanting a lighter wine to choose from, go with a Chardonnay. Most of these wines are going to be very easy to drink and will have light fruity and slightly acidic flavors that pair well with chicken cordon bleu. Flavors like citrus, apple, and pear will be some of the most common.
If you want a richer type of wine then go with a Sauvignon Blanc wine. These wines will be richer and smoother that go well with cream-based sauces and contrast nicely with chicken cordon bleu without overpowering the dish.
Best Desserts To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu
There really is not a specific type of dessert to serve with chicken cordon bleu in all honesty. The thing you have to think about is how you want to end the meal.
Will you want something that will complement or contrast the meal? Well, the best way to think about this is how do you want to round out the meal as a whole.
Since you are sticking to citrus and creamy flavors within the main entrée, it would be best to continue that same train of thought with the dessert. You wouldn’t want to have a heavy chocolate dessert to follow this meal because it just doesn’t pair well and may upset your stomach in the long run.
Try going with a dessert that is on the light and fruity sides like panna cotta with fresh berries and cream or a classic pear tart with fresh cream. These desserts will continue the same light and citrusy flavors of the meal. If you want something heavier or richer, go with a classic New York-style cheesecake with a berry compote.
Best Sauces To Serve With Chicken Cordon Bleu
As I have mentioned throughout this article, chicken cordon bleu will benefit from citrusy flavors and cream-based sauces. So, it is best to stick to that theme when it comes to sauces.
A great choice and most commonly used for chicken cordon bleu is a lemon butter beurre blanc. This sauce is fairly easy to make. Moreover, it only has a few ingredients like white wine, butter, heavy cream, and lemon juice.
The citrusy flavor and creamy texture help to elevate and accent the natural flavors of chicken cordon bleu which really complete the meal.
You could also go with a contrasting sauce that is richer and fruitier. A good choice here would be a light demi sauce or a cherry port wine reduction. This sauce will contrast with the flavors of the chicken cordon bleu but also works really well when eaten together.
The thing to keep in mind when choosing a side dish for your chicken cordon bleu is complementing flavors and not contrasting them. While contrasting may work in some instances, a great side dish, sauce, or wine you choose will always work better if the flavors are similar to the main dish. However, if all else fails, just remember to keep it simple and everything will turn out great!
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Kevin has spent 20 years as an Executive Chef, focused heavily on recipe construction and menu development. Today his focus is on writing, consulting to restaurants, and teaching culinary arts. In his spare time, Kevin loves to cook with his lovely wife and kids.