Making the Perfect Stuffed Chicken

I have made literally 100s of stuffed chickens, be it Cordon Bleu’s, Kievs or Broccoli and Cheese and although they are delicious, crispy and turn out beautifully, they were not perfect. Yup, that’s right! Not perfect! Sometimes the breading will be unevenly cooked, while at other times, some of the filling(especially if cheese in involved)seeps out or they won’t hold together completely until finished. I have set out to conquer these demons and after many days of testing and trial and error, I believe I have come as close as possible to my goal. Why spend so much time on this simple dish? Because for some reason, chicken wrapped in savory filling and cooked so that the inside is moist while the outside stays crisp is enticing, soul-warming and satisfying.
Let’s shut up, learn and cook, shall we?


Always, ALWAYS keep your chicken cold when making these recipes for stuffed chickens below. Take them from the refrigerator, work with them as needed and plop them right back into the refrigerator, only removing chicken as you pound, fill, roll and bread them. When they are all filled and ready to cook, place them back into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This seems to work perfectly to help prevent any stuffing ingredients from leaking out while cooking, as well as after cooking.
I have played with so may different types of breading and although most were great, they weren’t perfect. I wanted the “bite” of Panko, but not as crispy. I wanted the flavor of cracker and bread crumbs, but more “bite”. Simple solution really. I used Panko crumbs ground in a food processor to the consistency of cracker crumbs while combining it with the same amount of dried bread and cracker crumbs. This gave me the perfect “bite” and the perfect flavor.  And wouldn’t you know it, perfection finally!
Find three of my favorite crispy, baked stuffed chicken recipes below.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
One of my all-time favorite indulgences. Salty, crispy, cheesy and…..well, hammy! It is just plain perfection, finally!

15 butter-flavored or whole wheat crackers
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup plain, dried bread crumbs
1 c. flour
6 T. butter or margarine, melted
3 eggs
2 T. Dijon mustard
8 thin ham slices
2 c. shredded Swiss cheese
4 chicken breast halves

Pulse crackers and Panko crumbs in a food processor until coarsely ground. Remove to a bowl and add the bread crumbs. Drizzle in butter over the top and incorporate well. Transfer to shallow dish. Place the flour in a shallow bowl as well. Beat the eggs with the mustard and place in a third shallow bowl.
Top each ham slice with 1/4 c. cheese and roll tightly; set aside. With the bottom of a frying pan or a mallet, pound chicken until about 1/2-inch thick between 2 sheets of film wrap. If they look rather large, that is perfectly fine. Each piece of flattened chicken should be approximately rectangular in shape. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place a piece of chicken in front of you with the shortest side furthest away. Lay a roll of ham and cheese near one side of each breast and roll tightly, tucking in the ends as well, securing the edges of the chicken together with toothpicks.. Transfer chicken to plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 10 minutes.
One at a time, coat stuffed chicken lightly with flour, dip into egg mixture, and dredge in crumbs, pressing to adhere. Refrigerate 30 minutes. When you have 10 minutes left of cooling the rolled chicken, preheat oven to 350-degrees F, transfer chicken to baking sheet and bake until golden brown and chicken registers 165 degrees F, 25-30 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite side dish.

Chicken Kiev


Although the sight of melted garlic butter dripping out of a freshly cut Kiev may not appeal to many people, it is a treat for me once in a while and I hope you try it at least once in your life. The taste of Kiev combined with the crunch of my breading is phenomenal.

8 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
2 teaspoons minced garlic in oil
1 tablespoon minced, dried parsley, chives or other herbs
15 butter-flavored or whole wheat crackers
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten well
4 chicken breast halves

Place slightly softened butter and garlic in a food processor and process until well combined or place butter and garlic in a bowl and mash together using a fork. Stir herbs into butter. Divide butter mixture into four equal portions. Form each portion of butter into a log shape,  tightly wrap in film wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Pulse crackers and Panko crumbs in a food processor until coarsely ground. Remove to a bowl and add the bread crumbs, mixing well. Drizzle in melted butter over the top and incorporate well. Transfer to shallow dish: set aside. Place the flour in a shallow bowl: set aside. Place the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl: set aside.
With the bottom of a frying pan or a mallet, pound chicken until about 1/2-inch thick between 2 sheets of film wrap. Don’t pound the chicken too forcefully as any tears in the chicken could allow the butter to escape when the Kiev is cooking.
If they look rather large, that is perfectly fine. Each piece of flattened chicken should be approximately rectangular in shape. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Place a piece of chicken in front of you with the shortest side furthest away.
Place a portion of butter near the edge of the side closest to you and roll very tightly, tucking in the sides as you roll, securing the edges of the chicken together with toothpicks.. When finished with all breasts, transfer to refrigerator for 10 minutes.
One at a time, coat stuffed chicken lightly with flour, dip into egg mixture, and dredge in crumbs, pressing to adhere. Refrigerate 30 minutes. When you have 10 minutes left of cooling the rolled chicken, preheat oven to 350-degrees F, transfer chicken to baking sheet and bake until golden brown and chicken registers 165 degrees F, 25-30 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite side dish.

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Okay, who doesn’t like Broccoli and Cheese together, let along it stuffed inside some marvelously tender, juicy chicken. This is baked so rest assured, you can get up from the table feeling better than if it had been deep-fried.

15 butter-flavored or whole wheat crackers
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten well
4 chicken breast halves
4  slices American cheese
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup cooked, chopped broccoli

Pulse crackers and Panko crumbs in a food processor until coarsely ground. Remove to a bowl and add the bread crumbs, mixing well. Drizzle in melted butter over the top and incorporate well. Transfer to shallow dish: set aside. Place the flour in a shallow bowl: set aside. Place the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl: set aside.
With the bottom of a frying pan or a mallet, pound chicken until about 1/2-inch thick between 2 sheets of film wrap. Don’t pound the chicken too forcefully as any tears in the chicken could allow the cheese to escape when the chicken is cooking.

Layer all 4 slices of American cheese on top of each other, and slice vertically into four even rectangle cheese stacks. Take one of the rectangle cheese stacks and place it in the center of a whole slice of Swiss. Place some of the chopped broccoli on and around the American cheese stack, and wrap the Swiss around both, creating a roll. Place the cheese and broccoli roll in the center of a flattened chicken breast, then wrap the chicken around it, securing the edges of the chicken together with toothpicks. Repeat for the remaining chicken breasts and refrigerate 10 minutes.
One at a time, coat stuffed chicken lightly with flour, dip into egg mixture, and dredge in crumbs, pressing to adhere. Refrigerate 30 minutes. When you have 10 minutes left of cooling the rolled chicken, preheat oven to 350-degrees F, transfer chicken to baking sheet and bake until golden brown and chicken registers 165 degrees F, 25-30 minutes. Serve hot with your favorite side dish.