Playing Cordon Bleu Meatballs with Dijon Gravy
Ingredients
For the meatballs
  • 1/4 pound deli-sliced mild ham, coarsely chopped
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup (a handful) parsley tops
  • A few sprigs thyme, stemmed
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few grates nutmeg (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs from white bread
  • Milk, to moisten crumbs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 pound chunk Comté, Gruyère or Swiss cheese, cut into half-inch cubes
  • About 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • A handful parsley, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs thyme, stemmed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • About 1 quart safflower or vegetable oil, for frying,
For the gravy
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 rounded tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • About 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
Preparation

In a food processor, pulse the ham, shallot, garlic and herbs to finely chop.

Place chicken in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Add moistened bread (squeeze out any excess liquid), egg yolks and the ham mixture, and combine. Use a small scoop to portion meat, flatten it out in your hand, place a cheese cube in the center and wrap meat around cheese as you roll the balls.

Arrange a breading station: In three shallow dishes, place flour seasoned with salt and pepper, the eggs, and breadcrumbs combined with herbs, lemon zest and Parm. Working a few meatballs at a time, dredge the meatballs in the seasoned flour, then dip them into the egg before coating them in the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a work surface as you finish coating the meatballs. 


Heat oil to 350°F in tabletop fryer, Dutch oven or deep, cast-iron skillet. Fry meatballs to deeply golden and keep warm in a low oven while you prepare the gravy.

In a skillet or saucepot, melt butter. Whisk in flour, season with salt and white pepper. Whisk in wine then chicken stock and thicken. Add lemon juice then cream, remove from heat and stir in Dijon and tarragon.

Serve meatballs with warm tarragon gravy alongside.