I love Chicken Cordon Bleu. Tender chicken rolled up with ham and Swiss cheese, it’s hard for pretty much anyone to resist.
And so as I was laying in bed, twiddling my thumbs, I thought “Why not make it a chowder/stew/soup that captures the best flavors of the dish in a spoonful rather than the forkful?” Once again, the laws of food are defied and it feels oh so good to be a delicious rebel.
All done simple and perfectly in your Instant Pot!
Here’s How I Made It! (Scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Begin with some butter that you’ll add to your heated Instant Pot.
Once melted, add in some shallots…
…and some diced pancetta.
Sauté for a few minutes until the pancetta becomes browned and firmed.
Once it does, take a slotted spoon and reserve the pancetta in a paper towel-lined bowl (some of the shallots will likely get in there too and that’s fine).
See all that pancetta/bacon grease in the pot? Good! Leave it.
Add in some minced garlic and allow it to sauté for a moment.
Now, add in a cup of dry white wine…
…and deglaze/scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula – freeing it of all the pancetta grease that has formed onto it.
Now, add in some chicken or garlic broth….
…along with a whole chicken, quartered with the skin on.
Now we’re ready to pressure cook! Secure the lid and go for it!
In the meantime, take some typical deli-style, thin-sliced ham of your choice (I use Black Forest)…
…and slice it up into ribbons/little pieces like so.
Once done pressure cooking, remove the chicken with tongs…
…and set aside on a plate to cool.
Now let’s transform this soup into a creamy chowder! Add in some cream…
…and, in batches, a bunch of shredded Swiss cheese!
Whisk the cheese in with the broth so it becomes nice and melted.
Then, take an immersion blender…
…and blend until the cheese it totally emulsified into the soup.
Let’s thicken our chowder up a bit. Take equal parts cornstarch and water and mix to form a slurry.
Then, give the pot heat and once it bubbles, quickly stir in the slurry and then immediately kill the heat.
After the chicken’s cool enough to the touch, rip the meat apart by hands…
…and toss it into the soup. (Of course, discard the skin, bones and cartilage OR save to make a separate batch of bone broth if you wish.)
Now take the cooked pancetta and the ham and add it to the soup…
…along with some Dijon mustard, if you wish…
…and some Creole/Cajun seasoning if you also wish! The mustard and this seasoning are PERFECT for this soup.
Give it all a final stir…
…ladle into bowls…
…and marvel at how packed-to-the brim it looks.
You can also top with some oyster crackers or croutons as an homage to the slight crunch of the breaded chicken in a traditional Cordon Bleu!
Now take a spoonful of comfort…
…savor the flavor…
…and all your troubles will melt away!
This chowder is so ideal for a frigid day or as a fancy evening meal!
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
- 2 shallots, diced
- 8-10 ounces diced pancetta or bacon (you can usually find diced pancetta in 4-5 ounce packages in the fancy meat section of your market)
- 1 tablespoon (3 cloves) crushed or minced garlic
- 1 whole 4-5 lb chicken, cut into quarters, skin on
- 1 cup dry white wine (like a Chardonnay)
- 6 cups chicken or garlic broth (I used 3 teaspoons Garlic Better Than Bouillon, 3 teaspoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 6 cups water)
- 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream or half & half
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water to form a slurry
- 1/2 – 1 pound ham of your choice (I used Black Forest), thinly sliced and diced
- 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)
- 1/2 tablespoon of Creole or Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere’s, also optional)
- Add the butter to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and adjust to the “More” or “High” setting. Once the butter’s melted, sauté the shallots and pancetta for 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
- Take a slotted spoon and reserve the cooked pancetta in a paper towel-lined bowl and set aside (it’s okay if some/most of the shallots get taken out with it).
- Add the wine and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot to free it of any caked-on pancetta grease. Then, add the broth and chicken to the pot. Secure the lid, move the valve to sealing position and hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” for 10 minutes at High Pressure. Quick release when done.
- Carefully remove the chicken with tongs and set aside to cool.
- Stir in the cream. Then, in batches, whisk in the Swiss cheese until very melty and then use an immersion blender to purée.
- Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Sauté” and adjust to the “More” or “High” setting. Once bubbling, immediately stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir until it thickens and turn the pot off so the bubbles die down.
- Once the chicken’s cooled, pick off the meat by hand and discard the skin, bones and cartilage. Add the chicken back to the soup in the pot along with the diced ham and the reserved pancetta/shallots. Add the Dijon and Creole seasoning if using, stir well and serve.
- Top with croutons or oyster crackers.
If you want it to be a hearty stew, add in 1-2 15.5-ounce cans of cannelloni or navy beans.
You can also add 10 ounce box of frozen peas and/or carrots while pressure cooking the chicken in Step 3. You can also add some diced potatoes (about 1-1 1/2 pounds) during this process as well if you wish!