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In last few years I have eaten a few cordon blue like variations which were quite delicious. I have tried replicating some of them at home, and while they were quite delicious I am wandering what techniques are used in professional kitchens to get the pieces in regular shape.

The specific meal in question is from a local grill bar. It was made of chicken ties and legs, which were deboned and (beaten?) into a escalope. Then they were filled with ham, cheese and a bit of cucumber, from the outside rolled into strips of bacon, shaped like a large cigar, and then fried (I think one piece was around 200 grams, maybe 20cm long and 4-5 cm thick, so quite large).

I have tried to make a variation of this at home, by removing bone from whole chicken legs, beating them slightly with a mallet and then rolling them up with the ingredients inside. I have wrapped them in foil, tightened it and placed them in the fridge overnight to help them keep shape. The bacon strips I had were not quite long enough to hold on by themselves so I had to connect most of them with toothpicks which I removed after frying.

They have been quite delicious and everybody liked them, but I would really like to improve them, as presentation wise they weren't as nice the ones in the grill bar.

For one thing my meat was not of such regular thickness as theirs. Theirs looked like it was made from a rectangular sheet of meat with uniform thickness that was placed in some kind of mold to make them all even :) My pieces were a bit uneven, and the weird shape left over after removing bones from chicken legs made some portions of final product thicker then others (more layers in the 'cigar').

Does anybody have experience with making something like this? How to shape the pieces of meat? By using kitchen mallet too much I risk shredding the meat. Does some 'thingy' like a pasta machine exist for thinning the meat? Can I connect smaller pieces of meat and somehow fry them (or grill) without them falling apart (some king of mold? deep fry or roasting so they don't have to be moved while cooking? stitching??)

Anyway, I am going to try some other options next time, but any ideas are welcome..:)

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I would think this would be a great application for boneless, skinless thighs. I've never had much luck trying to get uniform pieces boning dark meat myself. Done commercially though, they're usually fairly regular. Trim off any excess fat and gently pound them out to about 1/3 inch (2/3 centimeter) between pieces of plastic wrap (don't use the jagged toothed side of a mallet, use the flat side or something smooth like the bottom of a pan). Place your filling on the chicken piece, add any "wrapping" (bacon, or ham slices or whatever). Just using one of the sheets of plastic you used for the pounding, tightly roll up the chicken with any filling and/or wrapping you desire, twisting the plastic wrap at the ends to get the tightest possible "cigar". If you want to use bacon to wrap, but your slices aren't long enough, overlap two slices at the ends and give them them a bit of a pound where the slices overlap. Chilling the roll should help keep the slices together, but you may need to tie them with twine. Chill for at least a couple of hours. After chilling, remove the plastic wrap and secure the rolls with a toothpick or twine, bread if desired. I would consider baking the rolls, seam side down on an oiled sheet pan instead of frying. If you end up "splicing" slices of bacon, try to keep the seam of the bacon lined up with the seam on the chicken. That way, baking seam side down will help keep both seams closed.

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Thanks for the comment. I agree with everything, in fact this is mostly how I did it. I thought about boneless thought about boneless thighs, but the ones in the local supermarket are not very large and I wanted my wraps to be quite big, so I did it myself (I kept the leg and thie in one piece while removing both bones). –  user744959 Jan 9 at 6:47
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