A French term (literally translated as "blue ribbon") that referred originally to an award given to women chefs for culinary excellence. The term term now can apply to any superior cook. 2. The term also refers to a dish -- chicken (or veal) cordon bleu -- in which a thin scallop of veal or chicken is topped with a thin slice each of prosciutto or other ham and Gruyère or other Swiss cheese, then another meat scallop. The stacked meats and cheese are then breaded and sautéed until golden.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.