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Spring is here! And with the warmer weather comes my excitement to host brunches, dinner parties, and more! I always love serving up something fun and unexpected that everyone will love, and this Chicken Cordon Bleu Shakshuka does just that!
Shakshuka is traditionally a tomato based sauce and originated near Northern Africa/Middle East (there are debates about this) and is also commonly called Eggs in Purgatory. But I like “shakshuka” as it is fun to say 🙂 I’m in love with the concept of shakshuka because you can eat it any time of day and it completely makes sense. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, snack, it all works. It would even be a great way to start off a special day like a holiday. The versatility of the dish is one of my favorite things about it and makes it perfect for all of my spring entertaining plans.
I made this for a spring brunch party recently and it was a hit! The stars of this Chicken Cordon Bleu Shakshuka are the Castle Wood Reserve® meats. They have a full line of deli meats perfect for any occasion, including ideas like this one that are beyond a traditional sandwich! Their meats are so versatile, they are perfect for charcuterie boards, lunch boxes, or even just eating them on their own which may or may not have happened while I was cooking. 🙂
It is so easy to make this Chicken Cordon Bleu Shakshuka! Just grab a large skillet to make the sauce. Add in your chopped Castle Wood Reserve® meats and stir.
When the sauce is ready to go, make cozy little homes with slices of the Castle Wood Reserve® Oven Roasted Chicken Breast and Castle Wood Reserve® Smoked Virginia Ham. Crack an egg into each “boat” and finish cooking off! So simple, it makes entertaining easy so you can enjoy your company.
So when I first starting making shakshukas, I noticed that most shakshuka recipes say to just cover the skillet with a lid to cook the eggs in just a few minutes. But this made the yolks disappear under the white (not as pretty). I also tried it in the oven, and the same thing happened. Heat coming from the top made the white that covers the yolk cook, letting the egg essentially disappear and just look like a white blob. So if you want to keep the yolk visible like in the pictures, it will take a little longer to cook. Leave the skillet on the stove top and just cook until the egg white is done to your liking. No lid, no other trick, just let it sit. We went for over medium (runny yolk, cooked white) and it took about 12 minutes. You will also need to add additional milk to the sauce because with the longer cooking time, it will get thicker. Add more as needed while it is cooking.
Alternatively, you can also place just the egg whites into the shakshuka itself, keeping the yolks in the egg shells, and cook the white to your desired doneness in the oven or on the stove for speed (like this picture below). Then, add the yolk on each white (they might slide off a little) and cook on the stovetop a couple minutes. A little more work, but still an option. That is what I did for this Chicken Cordon Bleu Shakshuka.
But if you are going for speed, or you do not care if you see the yellow yolk, just cover the skillet and cook until the eggs are done to your liking. For over medium this only took about 4 minutes for me, but your stove will cook differently. You can tell if the white is cooked or not by poking it with your finger. If it feels firm, it is cooked. If it wiggles or moves, it is not.
This Chicken Cordon Bleu Shakshuka has been pretty popular here. And I love that it is so easy to grab these premium quality Castle Wood Reserve® products at your local great value retailer, Walmart. You can find them in the deli section next to the counter. It is so convenient to grab everything I need in one place and be ready to go.
Are you as excited for Spring as I am?!? What fun spring dishes are you craving to make?
Cordon Bleu Sauce
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup slices mushrooms (optional)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 cups milk
- 2 slices Castle Wood Reserve® Smoked Virginia Ham chopped into 1" pieces
- 2 slices Castle Wood Reserve® Oven Roasted Chicken Breast chopped into 1" pieces
- 2 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
- dash ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ground black pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the butter. When melted, add the flour and mushrooms. Stir to combine. Cook until the flour is a light peanut color, approximately 2 minutes.
- Pour in the white wine and cook until reduced by half, approximately 2 minutes.
- Add the milk and whisk to combine. Then add the chopped chicken, chopped ham, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir and cook until heated through, approximately 2 minutes. Add additional chicken and ham if desired.
- Mix in the shredded cheese and stir until melted, approximately 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, cayenne, and cheese.
- Using a spoon, create a small divot where each egg will go in the cheese sauce. Take the additional three slices of ham and chicken and cut in half so you have two half circles. Layer one piece of ham and one piece of chicken perpendicular over each other to create an X. Place one set in each of the egg holes.
- Crack an egg on top of each chicken and ham section. Season the tops of them lightly with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium low.
- For a fast cook: cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the eggs are done to your liking. For me, over medium (cooked white, runny yolk) took about 3-4 minutes. The time will vary based on your stove and your preferred doneness. If you poke the white or yolk and it is firm, it is cooked through. If it moves or is soft, it is not cooked through. This method is the fastest however the white cooks over the yolk and you will not see the yellow. The egg will be a solid white.
- For yellow yolks like the pictures: Cook the eggs on the stovetop without a lid until you reach your desired doneness. For over medium, this took me approximately 12-14 minutes. Because there is no heat from the top, the yolk will stay yellow. If you poke the white or yolk and it is firm, it is cooked through. If it moves or is soft, it is not cooked through. Because this method takes longer, you may need to add additional milk to keep the sauce thinner as it cooks. Use a spoon to gently stir between the eggs to incorporate the additional milk.
- Serve warm on a piece of grilled chicken or a slice of your favorite bread. You can also serve with English muffins, on pasta, on a salad, or as is!