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Spanish Apricot Chicken Cordon Bleu with Sherry Cream Sauce

A Spanish spin on the classic chicken dish that boasts a sweet, savoury filling and is topped with a luxious sherry cream sauce.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (humanely raised if available)
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 4 slices serrano ham or proscuitto
  • 3 cups sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces iberico reserva or manchego cheese, sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sherry wine
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (35% m.f.)

Instructions

For the Chicken

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.  On a large baking sheet, spread out your breadcrumbs and place in the oven to toast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden in colour.  Remove and allow to cool.

  2. While the breadcrumbs are toasting, prep the chicken. First you need to butterfly the chicken breast, by making a slice lenghwise, but not cutting all the way through.  You will then open the chicken breast and place between two pieces of seran wrap or waxed paper.  Using a mallet or a heavy metal ladle, beat the meat at it's thickest spot, until it is evenly 1/4 inch thick across the meat (doesn't have to be perfect!)

  3. After you've flattened the chicken breast, place a slice of serrano or proscuitto ham along the longest portion of the chicken. Starting at the widest end, add 2 tsp of jam and 2 ounces of cheese. Roll up the breast and place seam side down on a plate.  Repeat with remaining chicken breasts, then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

  4. While the chicken is in the freezer, lay out your dredging area.  Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate shallow dishes (we use pie plates).  Add salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs and stir together. Remove the chicken from the freezer and roll each breast individually in the flour, followed by the egg and finally the breadcrumbs, pressing them to adhere to the meat. 

  5. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil.  Once hot, add the chicken breast, seam side down and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the bread crumbs start to colour.  Flip the chicken and sear the other side for 1-2 minutes more, adding more oil if necessary. Flip once more (seam side down) and place the pan in the preheated oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through, or until an instant read thermometer reaches 165F when inserted into the thickest portion of the breast.

  6. Alternatively, you can just bake the chicken and not sear it at all for 25-30 minutes.  Be sure to spray the tops of the chicken breasts with oil before baking. Serve with the sherry cream sauce.

For the Sherry Cream Sauce

  1. Add the sherry to a pot and place over medium heat.  Reduce until you have 1/8th of a cup liquid left, then add the cream to the pot, season with salt and pepper, whisk together and remove from heat.