Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cannellini Bean Mash & Cherry Tomatoes

From Ainsley’s Food We Love, ITV

A real retro classic that is great for a special occasion. Easy to make and tastes fantastic with tender chicken filled with salty ham and oozing cheese – yum! I’ve used chicken thighs because they stay nice and juicy, but you can use chicken breasts if you prefer.


Open out the chicken thighs and trim off any extra fat or sinew. Place the thighs between parchment paper and flatten each with a rolling pin or the bottom of a pan until they are about 1cm thick.

Wrap the cheese slices in the pieces of ham and place each onto one side of a chicken thigh, leaving a space around the edge.  Fold over the chicken to enclose the filling like an envelope and press down firmly to form a seal. Repeat with the other chicken thighs.

Stir together the breadcrumbs and parsley on a plate. Put the seasoned flour on another and the beaten egg on a third. Dust the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour then the beaten egg and then turn in the breadcrumbs, ensuring that the chicken is fully coated.

Meanwhile make the butter bean mash. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic and lemon zest and warm through. Add the beans and parsley to the pan and cook gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Add the butter and cheese, stirring until melted. Season to taste. Remove from the heat and gently mash with a fork until you have a textured mash, adding a splash of stock if needed. Keep warm.

Heat the oven to 180c/160Cfan/Gas 4

Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and fry the chicken for 4-6 minutes on each side, basting, until golden brown. Transfer to a roasting tray and add the tomatoes, place in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Spoon the bean mash on to serving plates and top with the chicken. Serve with the cherry tomatoes on the side.



  • For the Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • 4 x large chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 4 thin slices of Gruyere or Emmenthal
  • 4 slices of Parma Ham or prosciutto (or good quality ham)
  • 150g fresh white or panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with a pinch of cayenne and salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • a knob of butter
  • cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • For the Cannellini Bean Mash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400g can of Cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • a knob of butter
  • 50g mild Cheddar cheese, grated
  • splash of stock, if needed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper