Cordon bleu sauce's ingredients vary by recipe, but the sauce commonly contains similar ingredients to Hollandaise sauce. Hollandaise contains egg yolks, salt, white pepper, paprika, lemon juice, hot sauce and butter, although there are variations on the recipe by chef. The cordon bleu sauce is typically creamy, and may instead contain olive oil, dry vermouth, white wine, flour and heavy cream or whole milk.
Cordon bleu sauce is commonly used on chicken breast combined with sliced Swiss or Gruyere cheese and ham. The chicken breasts are baked, breaded and fried before they are covered with a creamy white sauce.
Cordon bleu translates from French to refer to something that is of the highest class. It literally means blue ribbon, as blue ribbons were previously used as a sign of a Bourbon kings' status.
The sauce for cordon bleu is flexible since the only mandate for a cordon bleu dish is that contains chicken or veal. The meat must be rolled, filled with the cheese and ham, and then covered and fried in breadcrumbs.
Some chefs have created variations on the traditional chicken cordon bleu by making it into fondue or other unique creation. Cordon bleu pairs well with white wine, which offers a light and refreshing complement.