With chicken kievs a firm favourite in our house, I was confident that butterflied chicken breasts filled with thick slices of ham and Swiss cheese then coated in breadcrumbs would be equally well received. I was not wrong!

I used James Martin's recipe as a guide but I chose to cook my chicken breasts in the usual way (2 1/2 minutes either side in the frying pan and then 25 minutes in the oven at 190 degrees / 170 degrees fan oven).

Where cordon bleu (blue ribbon) is a term applied to the very highest standard of cooking, it's hard to reconcile this with what is a rather tasty yet hardly sophisticated dish. James Martin tags it as 'comfort food' and suitable for 'date nights' and 'dinner parties'. I'd put it in the easy to cook category with very little mastery required.

According to Larousse Gastronomique the cordon bleu or 'blue ribbon' was originally won by Henry VIII of France's L'Ordre des Chevaliers du Satin-Espiri, knights of the highest order. The term is thought to have become synonymous with excellence in the kitchen due to the blue ties on cooks' aprons.  Just as the term cordon blue has stretched from fighters to feeders, so it's likely this dish has evolved over time, most likely from the kiev.

I was glad for the opportunity to add this to our roster of meals in 2020 and while its credentials maybe fall a little short of its billing, it certainly went down well.