The afternoon consisted of building sandcastles and watching ducklings swim and preen alongside their mother. Modern life continued to buzz around us as we savored this gentle departure. As the placid lake lapped my naked feet, I began to reminiscence about my days at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. This is was unnerving as I’ve never been to France and (clearly) I have no professional culinary training. False memories are a trait befitting the clinically obnoxious, but I’m not jaundiced enough to look the inspiration gift horse in the mouth. Day 230 brings chili chicken cordon bleu.
½ lb sliced bacon, cut into small pieces
14 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1 C vegetable juice
1 T chili powder
½ T garlic powder
½ T paprika
1 t sriracha sauce
½ lb sliced ham, cut into cubes
1 C cubed cheese (Swiss is a good choice. We used a mixture of cheeses)
1 C panko
- Fry bacon and chicken in a pan until each has completely cooked.
- Dry the fat.
- Add vegetable juice, seasonings, sriracha sauce, and ham.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and top with cheese and panko.
- Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.
Recipes born of strange daydreams usually don’t amount to delightfully edible meals. The chili chicken cordon bleu is a happy exception. Sure, it wasn’t stuffed, coated and deep fried by a stogy fellow in a puffy hat. Hence it likely isn’t 5-star restaurant-caliber chicken cordon bleu. In a guerrilla-gourmet sense, I’ll contend this dish is so much more than that, owing to the marvelous addition of bacon, sriracha, and panko. Any way you spoon it, this completely obliterated any cordon bleu from the grocer’s freezer section. This recipe is great because it is easy and it syncs chili with chicken cordon bleu. Paris should be so graced.