in the midst of making this, meaning raw chicken was already all over my hands, i realized two things:
1. i hadn't laid out all the necessaries to aid in making this.
2. i didn't even have all the necessaries to make this.
this dish is really very simple. thin-sliced chicken breasts that you can likely find in any grocery store, slices of ham, slices of swiss cheese, and toothpicks. you have to have toothpicks! which my lovely neighbor supplied to me at a moment's notice! while she was on the phone, no less.
there are definitely some better recipes out there for chicken cordon bleu, and even this one could have been dutied up a bit with a crusty breading or even just browning them in butter. but, for the sake of a quick and easy dinner (i was still reeling after the massive easter clean-up), this worked out just fine. fine is code for: my kids and husband ate it without complaining AND there was minimal mess.
the one thing you want to make sure you do before getting started is to separate the items you will be using from whatever you will have left over. again, make sure you have toothpicks and lay out as many as you think you will use per....roll? i used about 3 each. you want to do this because sometimes the rolling part can get tricky and you don't want to have it rolled tight only to come apart when you realize you will have put your raw chicken hands in the toothpick container, contaminating the whole lot of them, just to get this thing to hold together. so just lay whatever you will use aside. and also the cheese slices and ham slices, because you probably won't need the whole package.
now the ham - i was a smarty and planned using the left over ham from our easter dinner, but any ham will work. and deli ham actually rolls better anyway.
take your elegantly thin-sliced chicken breasts (?? they were labeled that way) and place a slice on ham on top, then add a slice of swiss. rollllllll it up and secure it with the toothpicks. place each roll in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. right before baking, cut a tiny square of butter and place on top of each one just for some extra flavor. (and calories, but who is counting?)
bake at 350 until chicken is done, about 30 minutes. serve with your favorite sides!