The Bottom Line: Learn something new about Cordon Bleu.
The Full Story:
- Literally, cordon bleu translates to “blue ribbon.” Henry III of France in 1578 established the tradition of the highest order of knighthood bearing a blue ribbon.
- The earliest reference to veal cordon bleu in “The Los Angeles Times”was published in 1958. It is listed among the trendy dishes served at a swank affair: “Veal cordon bleu will be the piece de resistance on the menu.”
- The oldest reference in the “New York Times”for chicken cordon bleu is also an United Airlines, circa 1967: “Top Sirloin. Fine Wine. Color Movies. This is Coach? United’s Blue Carpet to California. Blue Carpet is the best reason for flying Coach on your vacation to Los Angeles or San Francisco. What’s in it for you? Top Sirloin Steak-or Chicken Cordon Bleu, if you wish-prepared by our own European-trained chefs. Champagne or fine red wine (at nominal cost)…Even a special children’s menu.”
- There are many regional dishes from Europe that share characteristics with Chicken Cordon Bleu. Some of the countries that include roulades, or roll ups of meat, in their cuisine are Germany, France and Italy. Almost all of them are based on veal or chicken wrapped around stuffing, another meat, cheese or a combination of any of these. Many of them are then breaded and fried. The names and recipes vary widely, but their connection to the dish is apparent.
- The dish that likely best inspired chicken cordon bleu is chicken Kiev. Chicken Kiev is chicken stuffed with seasoned or herbed butter, dredged in breadcrumbs, and fried. It was developed in Paris using vealduring the late 1840s. The veal was later swapped out for the chicken in Moscow.