Place your clean dry chicken breast on a cutting board and place cling wrap over that. Tenderize meat with a meat mallet on both sides. *see Notes why
With a knife, cut a pocket into the chicken from teh side in.
Fold a slice of cheese into a slice of ham. Fold it in such a way so that it fits into your cut out chicken pocket. I fold it into quarters. Make sure that the ham and cheese are placed well into the pocket and that they are not looking out.
Fix it all well with toothpicks. I use about 2 toothpicks per cordon bleu.
Prepare three trays or shallow plates to coat the chicken.
1st tray combine all-purpose flour, salt, and black pepper.
2nd tray scramble a raw egg.
3rd tray should be filled with breadcrumbs.
Take a chicken cordon bleu and dredge in flour first, then coat with scrambled egg, and at last coat with breadcrumbs. Repeat the process with all and keep aside.
Heat up a skillet with butter or lard. I add 1 Tablespoon at a time and more if need be later while the meat is cooking.
Wait for the fats to be hot but don't allow them to smoke. Test by dropping in some bread crumbs and if the oil is bubbling, it's time to cook your chicken cordon bleu.
Carefully place 1 or 2 cordon bleu into one pan and cook over a medium flame on both sides until golden. Check if the meat is cooked through with the help of a thermometer. Add more butter/lard during the cooking process if it looks too dry.
Serve up hot.
We tenderize chicken with a meat mallet because the meat fibers will soften and the chicken cordon bleu meat will turn out tender and juicy. The cling wrap between the meat and the mallet prevents the meat from getting damaged with holes by the mallet. Besides that, the chicken will stretch out a bit, and that way it will cook through better at the center points.
I need about 2 Tablespoons of butter/lard for 2 cordon bleu to cook through. Cooking with lard will result in a more flavorful chicken cordon bleu.
Don't cook with a very high heat or else the breading will get black and the chicken won't cook through. Control heat at a medium setting and test if the chicken is done on the inside (see post for meat temperature).
Take out the toothpicks before serving or inform your guests about their existence.