Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chicken Cordon Lou (Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole)

With the final season of Rescue Me airing its first episode tonight, I thought I'd do a rerun of Chicken Cordon Lou, which I originally posted on this blog back in April of 2009. Hubby and I are huge fans of the show and have been looking forward to the beginning of its final season, yet are also saddened by the fact that it is about to come to an end. I apologize for the less-than-stellar photo, but promise you that the taste of the dish will make up for my lack of photographic prowess.
(originally posted 4/16/09)

After being on hiatus for nearly a year, Rescue Me finally had its 5th season premiere last week. This is clearly one of television's rawest and gutsiest programs and I love the fact that the writers have thrown political correctness out the window. Drama and dark humor pair well in this series about post-911 firemen and the host of ghosts and dysfunctions that affect them. Aside from Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary,) my favorite character is Lieutenant (Lou) Kenny Shea (John Scurti.) The crass and witty banter between Tommy and Lou is delightfully quick and oozes sarcasm and the aforementioned political incorrectness. Funny. Stuff. I've actually spent the past week renting and rewatching the first four seasons, and that is why this particular blog post came to be.

Lou is known around the firehouse for his cooking skills and this recipe for Chicken Cordon Lou is how I would imagine him to whip up this dish for Tommy, Franco, Mikey and Sean. While the method is a far cry from the traditional chicken cordon blue technique, the result was a very tasty dish with all the basic ingredients plus a few more. Tossed together and thrown in a casserole dish, this makes for a relatively quick and easy weekday dinner.

Chicken Cordon Lou.... (Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4" cubes
1/2 pound ham, chopped into bite size pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1/2 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4-1/2 cup fat free half and half
2 ounces reduced fat swiss cheese, shredded
3 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
1-2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
handful of chopped parsley
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Season chicken breast cubes with salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon oil in skillet and brown/cook chicken cubes, approximately 5 minutes. Add in ham pieces and lightly brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat other tablespoon oil and butter in skillet. Add onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and saute until onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Sprinkle veggies with flour and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes so flour loses raw taste. Stir in broth and bouillon, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and add half and half and cheeses. Stir until smooth. Add in thyme and parsley. Combine sauce with chicken, ham and rice. Pour into greased casserole dish. Combine panko with melted butter and spread evenly over casserole. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.


G. Parker said...

This looks amazing - I'm going to try it. I LOVE chicken cordon bleu. Anyway - also, I noticed in your previous post that you mentioned the D word. That word is not allowed in our house because it triggers bad trauma!! lol But seriously - I've told my kids it's a lifestyle change, not a diet. One of the things I've found that helps is a site that is free online called They have a whole community dedicated to helping you meet your goals. I ended up having to hire a personal trainer myself, and I've lost 90 pounds, but it's taken a year and a half and I still have 60 to go. So, anyway, good luck - take care and you can DO IT!! ;)

Pam said...

I love Leary and watched that show when it first came out and then lost track of it :(

Betty @ scrambled henfruit said...

Where have I been? I don't think I've ever even seen the show, but now that you've given it such good reviews I'll have to look for it. I've heard that firehouse cooking is really good! This dish has all of the yummy flavors of the original dish, but sounds much easier to put together. :)

June said...

Wow Mags - this looks so wonderful I'm gonna have to make it darn quick. Pardon the english - it's on vacation too. LOL

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I'm with Betty ... I've never seen the show (and don't think I've heard of it). Apparently I live under a rock?!?

This casserole looks great, Mags. Total comfort food!!

Sue said...

This recipe sounds AMAZING!

Cleaners London said...

This is crazy! But I love it! I hate standard food! Your recipe is rockin'

Lea M. Callais said...

She's back - fighting like a girl!!!!! Love it - and this looks lovely - I remember wanting to do this - then in total Lea style - getting sidetracked - gonna put it back to the top of the list! Never did see the show though... I have that 6 year old and Colombian here - so the TV is either on cartoons or Hispanic news - HA!

Moogie said...

I love chicken casseroles and this one looks fabulous. I hope to make it sometime next week.

I haven't watched "Rescue Me". Maybe I will give it look-see.

Lea M. Callais said...

I made this Casserole tonight for supper - and it was a MAJOR HIT!!!!!!!!!! My sweet William cleaned his plate - something he rarely does - my sister took some home to eat later! I am glad I have some for lunch tomorrow!!!!!! Excellent! I will most certainly make this again!

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

Lea: I'm so glad that you and your family enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.

M.J. Jacobsen said...

I'm making this tonight for my out-laws! I will let you know what the critics say! (It sounds so good to me, I hope there are some leftovers!)

Shelby said...

We finally watched the show last night. Rescue Me is Grumpy's favorite show too and he is very saddened that it is the last season!

Also, like G. Parker - I use! I think it is a great site. I love to use it to track my food and exercise. :)

scmom (Barbara) said...

I have no idea who Lou is or what the show is, but I am making the recipe tonight and it smells wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Lorraine said...

Hi Mags,
Found your site via June at JBugs. Love the recipe, and loving the blog. Good wishes on your continued good health. I'll be stopping by.

Donna said...

So glad to see you are back. And with a really yummy looking recipe too. I'll have you in my thoughts as you go through radiation and embark on your diet.

Tiffany said...

I love Chicken Cordon Bleu! I am so excited to try this!! Thanks for sharing!! It just saounds so amazing!!