Friday, April 1, 2011

Chicken Stuffs

Hey there foodies

So we missed a recipe last week due to technical difficulties, but don't worry, great things come to those who wait.  If you've been keeping an eye on our Twitter page you may have seen photos of some fat pieces of stuffed chicken.  Well, I think it's about time to reward you with the recipes!

This is yet another dish that you can get creative with.  Follow the directions and try your own combination of seasonings and fillings.  Lots you can do with this so have fun!  I will show you two different versions I have made.

This dish came out particularly amazing.  And the best part is, it's really easy to make.  This is the type of thing you'd find on the menu at some very high end restaurants.  But you can make it at home in the time it would take to drive there!

Start with a nice size chicken breast and pound it as flat as possible.  Grab a mix of spices and preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  For the first recipe, I  first used a dry rub of garlic powder, chili powder, red pepper, black pepper, and salt.  Work this into the breast while you are tenderizing it.

Now butterfly cut the breast and rub some more of the seasoning into the inside.  Once saturated, rub in some barbecue sauce.  This will keep the insides tasty and moist!

I wanted to go with a western theme for this piece, so I chose a combination of diced ham, onion, and a spicy cheese blend.  You could add some diced peppers too if you can fit them in!  Use about a handful of each ingredient.  Try to make sure they're all on one side of the cut so you can fold it easily.

Fold the chicken up, making sure everything fits nicely within the pocket.  Now cover the outside with barbecue sauce.  You don't need a lot for this, a few blobs will coat the chicken nicely.

Now for the fun and messy part.  Grab a few strips of your old friend BACON!  Two to three strips should suffice.  Stretch out each strip, making sure it doesn't break.  Now carefully, tightly wrap the bacon around the chicken.  Hold it tightly so nothing falls out.  You may want to start by putting the bacon on the bottom and wrapping it around the top.

You will notice a few grill marks in the photos here.  I originally tried to grill the chicken but noticed it wasn't cooking properly.  The sides don't get cooked, and you can't turn the chicken because the stuffing will fall out.  If you want to cut out a bit of the fat though, put it on a foreman grill for a few minutes after the juices start dripping, but the real cooking will be done in the oven.  Warning, if you use the grill first, the bacon may come out a bit soft in the end...

Wrap the chicken securely in tin foil and place on a cooking tray in the oven.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Keep it at 450 degrees, the tin foil locks in the moisture and prevents it from overcooking.

Take the chicken out of the foil and place onto a plate.  Cover with the leftover juices and serve with a nice side dish.


Want a quick, easy, and satisfying side?  Take a box of store brand Scalloped Potatoes and make as directed.  Halfway through cooking, add in a can of mixed veggies.  Now you have some healthy vitamins to go with your protein-laden cuisine!

I've done this a few times, so let me share an additional style.  Follow the above directions, but instead use a salt and pepper dry rub.  This time, I used spinach and cream cheese as the filling.  Take a handful of canned or frozen (thawed) spinach and some diced onion.  Take a bar of cream cheese and cut off about half an inch lengthwise.  Add this to the spinach/onion mix and fold over.  Again wrap with bacon.  This time, I breaded each piece with a simple flour coating.  I didn't find this necessary with further recipes, but if you want to get playful and try frying the chicken, this would be a very welcome step.  Wrap in tin foil and cook for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.  This time around, I used the cranberry sauce as seen with the recipes from last season.

One piece of advice, make sure you dry rub the inside of the butterfly cut.  I tried this a few times, and the ones seasoned inside and out came out much better.

The best thing about this recipe is that it is quick and easy.  Start to finish it shouldn't take more than half an hour.  Plus, you can be very creative with the ingredients.  Other filling ideas I've had include Ham and Pineapple and Spinach and Feta.

So have fun cooking and enjoy!  And please, if you enjoy these recipes, please leave your comments and follow us on our Facebook page.  Followers get sneak peaks and photos of other interesting recipes.

Bon Apetit!