2teaspoonsfresh thyme sprigs or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
S & P to taste
For the Chicken Cordon Bleu:
Lay a chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound the chicken to ¼” thickness. Be careful not to pound any holes in the chicken.
Remove the top layer of plastic wrap.
Place one slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese over the pounded breast. Fold over the sides of the breast to make more of a square (it won’t be a perfect square). To roll and wrap the breast, pull up gently on the bottom sheet of the plastic wrap while rolling the breast into a tube-shape. Roll the breast tightly. Now, pick up both side ends of the plastic wrap and carefully spin the breast to tighten each end (as if making sausage links). Fold the twisted ends of the plastic wrap underneath the breast and place it is a dish with the folded plastic ends underneath. This method closes each end of the breast and holds the ham and cheese in place. Repeat with the remaining breasts. Refrigerate the breasts at least 1 hour or up to 2 days ahead.
Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the breast from the fridge and heat the oven to 375°F. Set the oven rack to middle position.
Cover a sheet pan with foil and pour the panko breadcrumbs evenly over the foil. Roast the breadcrumbs 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Shake the pan halfway through browning. Remove from the oven and pour the breadcrumbs onto a small plate to cool.
Place a metal rack over the same foil-lined sheet pan and spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray (the chicken breast will be placed on this while the chicken cooks).
Unroll the plastic and season each with kosher salt, black pepper and Herbes de Provence.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard and mayonnaise, and brush a thin layer of the mixture over each breast.
Place the eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly.
Place the breadcrumbs and the eggs next to each other on the work surface next to the foil-lined sheet pan.
Roll and gently press a chicken breast in the panko breadcrumbs.
Dip and roll the breast in the beaten eggs.
Once again, roll the breast in the breadcrumbs being careful to cover any bare spots. Place the breaded breast on the rack-covered baking sheet. Repeat with all breasts.
The breasts can be cooked immediately, or they can be refrigerated (uncovered) up to an hour to allow the coating to dry out a little. I think it works best to let them dry a little in the fridge, but it isn’t necessary.
Cook the breast at 375°F for 30-40 minutes. Spin the sheet pan around after 15 minutes.
The chicken is done when golden brown and the internal temperature registers 160°F on a meat thermometer.
Serve with the Dijon Wine Cream Sauce and…
For the Dijon Cream Sauce:
While the chicken cooks, make the sauce.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add 2 tablespoons butter and cook until melted
Add 2 tablespoons flour and whisk until smooth. Cook the butter/flour mixture until it becomes a little darker, 1-2 minutes.
While whisking, add wine and continue whisking until smooth.
Continue whisking and add chicken broth and cream.
Add mustard and thyme. Whisk until smooth.
Season to taste with kosher salt & black pepper.
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and cook just until sauce thickens to almost-gravy consistency. Remove from the heat and set aside. When the chicken is almost ready, reheat the sauce over low heat to serve with the chicken.