Saturday, September 14, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

The school year is now in full swing. We're back to later dinners, earlier sunsets, and quick fix recipes for busy nights. There are some nights a recipe like this takes too long during the week, but I enjoy dedicating time to cooking on other days when I get home earlier. I am still trying to keep our goal of trying at least one new recipe a week in our menu plan. I'm so behind on blogging, that I'm rediscovering things we tried and loved last school year. This chicken is one of those dinners that I'll be repeating soon. I like jalapeno poppers but I rarely eat them. What's not to love when something is cheesy with a bit of a kick? I found this delicious dinner on Elly Says Opa. We doubled Elly's recipe  and it worked out well. The chicken is best the day you make it, but we did still enjoy having a lunch portion as well.

 You will need:
*1 cup panko
*4 teaspoons canola oil
*3 teaspoons taco seasoning
1 egg
 (start with 1, add a second if needed)
*4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 jalapeño peppers, minced-seeds removed
4 chicken breasts

1. Preheat the oven to 375 and place a baking rack over a foil lined rimmed baking pan. Spray/spead the rack with cooking oil.

2. Combine the panko and canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir and cook until the panko is crispy and golden in color. Transfer the panko to a shallow dish and mix in the taco seasoning. Lightly beat the egg in another shallow dish.

3. Combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and minced jalapeño in a small bowl. 

4. Cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast (this is where the stuffing will go). I found it worked best to cut horizontally into the chicken like you were butterflying it. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper, and then divide the cream cheese mixture evenly into the chicken's pocket you created. Use toothpicks to secure, if necessary.

5. Dip the stuffed chicken breasts one at a time, first into the egg and then into the panko mixture. Press to coat completely. Place the chicken on the oiled baking rack and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

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