Epic Fail: Can this recipe be saved?

Ok, I'll admit it. I do not always cook with the greatest of skill and cannot rescue all fallen recipes with an elegant inhalation, a knowing nod with finger applied to the chin while paging through my culinary memory, until I locate the just right dash of the secret magical ingredient. Wouldn't that be nice.

This page will be an appeal for help to all my friends at The CC Palate for those times when I am unequal to the task and end up with an inedible recipe. Please leave your suggestions for fixing these recipes in the comments section below!

looks good, but it was tasteless and not good.
Epic Fail: Chicken Cordon Blah


4 boneless chicken breasts pounded flat
4 pieces of thin smoked ham
4 pieces of baby swiss cheese
1 egg mixed with a T of water to make an egg wash
3/4 cup breadcrumbs to which was added: 1 t garlic powder, 1 t rosemary, 1/4 t cracked black pepper, 1/2 t paprika, and 1 t dried parsley
4 pats butter


After pounding the breasts thin, I dipped them into the egg wash, placed one piece of ham and cheese on each and sprinkled with a bit of bread crumb mix. Then I rolled them and secured with toothpicks. Finally they were rolled in the remaining bread crumbs, placed in a Pam sprayed baking pan with a pat of butter on top of each. I baked them at 400 for about 40 minutes because the breasts were those super sized things and these rounds of meat were quite fat. I cooked until the instant read temp showed 155 in the center. I fully intended to take them out here and place a piece of provolone on top of each for melting but I forgot.


Totally tasteless. Not juicy. Not the oozy cheesy experience I was looking for. I stopped eating after about 1/3 of the way through the piece. An indicator of non-awesomeness for sure. Help!


  1. What I've done in the past is cut the breasts in half (like you're butterflying them, but all the way through), then pound them thin. Also, use aged Swiss instead of baby Swiss, as it will melt better and make more of a oowey goowey cheesiness. I would also forgo the breadcrumbs in the center, and use them only to coat the outside, as they are probably hindering some of the cheesy ooze. Those are my thoughts!

  2. What about the herbs in the crumbs -- just on the outside?

  3. A friend of mine who makes this really well swears by making his up and then freezes them for an hour or so they retain their shape so he can brown them up in a pan before baking them in a pan with some shallot onions. He also makes a mushroomy broth with strongly flavoured mushrooms starting with a bit of wine to remove the browning from the pan he cooked the chicken in that he drizzles over it occasionally as it bakes.

    The breadcrumbs in the center would suck up some of the delicious cheesy ooze I think...

  4. I would forego the crumbs in the middle, but brush the middle with a little butter prior to adding the ham and cheese. I would then do a light roll in an egg wash and then use a mixture of panko and breadcrumbs. Top with a sprinkle of black pepper and a dash of season salt and you are ready to go. Make sure that you pound them thin . I would then cook at 450 for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 until done. This will sear the outside ankeep the juices inside and the mixture of panko and breadcrumb crust crunchy. It also helps to cook them on a rack.

  5. I would have set up a hot non-stick pan on the stove top to sear the outside and added some seasoning to the inside. I do Chicken Kiev's and even just a stuff chicken breast like this:

    Pound out the breast and lay down a slice of Panchetta, a piece of aged white cheddar, a little onion or sweet bell pepper, and a little herbed goat cheese. Tie them up with butcher's sting and then either bread them or just a touch of olive oil and pan sear them before the oven. This will lock in the flavor and make them more juicy, without taking so long to cook in the oven. I hope this helps.

  6. Your recipe indicated ZERO salt...which is 99% of your blah factor. Unsalted chicken is bland and flavorless. Remove the breadcrumbs from the center.

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