Dinner Deal: Inside-Out Chicken Cordon Bleu

When I was a kid, Chicken Cordon Bleu was one of my favorite dinners. Gooey cheese and salty ham wrapped up with tender chicken – what’s not to love? Nowadays, I’m not sure my metabolism can support eating like I did then, which is why I’m all about this un-breaded version of the classic.

The beauty of this Inside-Out Chicken Cordon Bleu is in its bold, satisfying flavors. Put tangy Dijon mustard, sharp Swiss cheese, and rich roasted ham together and you’ll have a budget-friendly meal that you (and the kid in you) can truly savor.

Inside-Out Chicken Cordon Bleu with Dill-Carrot Rice

Makes 4 servings

For the rice:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 1/4 cups chicken stock or water

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

For the chicken:

1 tbsp olive oil

8 slices good-quality ham

4 slices Gruyère or Swiss cheese

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

4 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

Salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

2. To prepare the rice, place a medium saucepan over medium heat with the olive oil and butter. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, stock or water, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan. Bring the liquid up to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low, and place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Steam the rice until it’s tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, and let the rice sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, add the dill, and keep warm.

3. While the rice is steaming, prepare the chicken. On a clean work surface, lay one piece of ham on top of another with a slight overlap, place a piece of cheese over the ham, and then spread a bit of mustard over the cheese. Season a chicken breast with salt and pepper, lay it over the cheese, and  wrap the ham around the chicken to enclose it. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make four portions.

4. Place a large oven-safe sauté pan over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan, cheese-side down, and sear until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken over, and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast the chicken until fully cooked, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Serve the chicken with the warm rice.

Love a good Dinner Deal? Try these:

Cider Braised Chicken with Peppery Escarole
Rustic Beef and Tomato Stew
One-Pot Broken Florentine Lasagna


Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars like Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione, Bobby Deen and Paula Deen, he now works as a food writer in NYC by day and a recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram & Twitter at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at

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