Crispy chicken cordon bleu
Our chicken cordon bleu contains some sweet cranberry sauce as well as the classic cheese and ham combo. Fry first and then bake in the oven for a super-crisp coating.
Put the chicken breasts on a board. Using a sharp knife, remove the mini-fillet and reserve to one side. Carefully cut horizontally through each breast from the straighter side almost all the way through to the other side and open out like a book. Cut the cheese into four rectangles, each around 1.5cm/½in wide and roughly half the size of a small matchbox.
Take one of the opened breasts and its mini fillet and place between two sheets of cling film. Flatten both by bashing with a rolling pin until around 5mm thick all over. Remove the top layer of cling film and cover the flattened fillet with one slice of ham. Place a chunk of Emmental in the middle of the ham slice and top with two teaspoons of the cranberry sauce.
Use the flattened mini-fillet of chicken to cover the fillings and then carefully wrap the chicken breast up by bringing the pointy end of the chicken breast up over the cheese to insure it’s tucked neatly inside and, using the bottom layer of cling film, roll the breast up tightly and neatly insuring the cling film remains on the outside of the chicken to create a parcel.
Repeat the same method with the remaining three chicken breasts and put to one side.
Sprinkle the flour onto a large plate and season with a couple of pinches of salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk the eggs together in a shallow bowl. Scatter 50g/1¾oz of the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.
Dust one of the stuffed chicken breasts thoroughly in the seasoned flour and pat lightly to remove any excess. Roll the floured chicken in the egg and give it a light shake.
Place the chicken on the plate with the breadcrumbs and turn a couple of times, pressing with the breadcrumbs until well coated. Dip back in the egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs once more. This will make sure your crust is really crisp. Put the chicken on a baking tray and leave to stand.
Flour, egg and coat the remaining chicken breasts in exactly the same way. You’ll need to add 50g/1¾oz of the breadcrumbs to the plate for each breast, throwing away the remaining crumbs from the previous batch as they will be very sticky. (The chicken breasts can now be covered and popped in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.)
Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Heat the sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the chicken breasts over a medium high heat for 1-2 minutes on all four sides, or until golden-brown.
Transfer the chicken to a baking tray and finish cooking in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is hot and thoroughly cooked - there should be no pinkness remaining. Serve immediately so that the cheese oozes out as it is cut.