Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts

My mom has been making these bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breasts since I was a little girl.  They are fancy and tasty, and the perfect thing to make for company or a special occasion.  If you are looking for a great Easter dinner idea - this is it!  My favorite thing about these stuffed chicken breasts is that you can prepare them earlier in the day (or even the day before) and store in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.  I typically make enough for each person to have one, and a couple extras in case someone wants seconds.  They are great leftovers too.
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts
serves 4-6

Ingredients:
6 boneless chicken breast (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons softened butter
salt, pepper
good quality cheddar cheese - about 1/2 a block
2 cups prepared stuffing (I like Pepperidge Farm)
6 slices bacon

Directions:
Trim any visible fat from chicken breasts.  Place one chicken breast in a large ziplock bag.
Use a mallet, or the back of a heavy spoon, to gently pound the chicken.
You want to tenderize the meat and make it thinner, but be careful not to rip or break the chicken, as you need it in one piece.
Place the pounded chicken breast aside on a large sheet of wax paper.  You can use a large cutting board too but the wax paper is easy because you can just throw it out when you are done.  Continue with remaining chicken breasts.
Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch slices - you need 6 slices total (or however many pieces of chicken you have.
Prepare the stuffing and let cool slightly.
 Set up an assembly line with your cheddar cheese and bacon and stuffing.
It makes it easier to do each step with all the pieces in an assembly line.
Place little dots of butter on each slice of chicken (you can spread the butter it if yours is soft enough, mine wasn't).  Generously salt and pepper each piece of chicken.
Place a slice of cheddar cheese in the center of each piece of chicken.
Now place a scant 1/4 cup of stuffing on each piece of chicken, right on top of the cheese.
You may not use all the stuffing, that's okay.
 Pull up the sides of the chicken, toward the center, enclosing the stuffing completely.
This is hard to demonstrate in a picture, but basically you are making a little round bundle.  Use your hands to mold the chicken into a round ball and keep working the chicken together to close it up.  This takes practice, and it may not look as round as you would like at first. 
Turn the chicken bundle over, so the seam is on the bottom now, and wrap a slice of bacon around the chicken to help keep it closed.  Your bacon may go around more than once depending on the size of your bundle.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the chicken bundles on a baking sheet, and put in the fridge while the oven preheats.  This helps them firm up and keep their shape better. 
Cook for about 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and the bacon is cooked and crispy.  You might need to turn on the broiler for the last couple minutes to really crisp up the bacon.  The baking sheet might have some bacon grease, which you can carefully drain off the sheet while you let these cool slightly.  Don't worry if you have some cheese that came out on the baking sheet.
Don't those look great?
They really are awesome.
The bacon really goes well with the flavors of the cheese and stuffing in the chicken.
Here is a look at the inside.  Delicious.  We enjoyed these stuffed chicken breasts with roasted green beans (another post coming soon), bread and salad. Fancy, huh? And now you have a great meal to make next time you have company. This was a special Bon Voyage dinner to our friend Travis who is in Germany for a month.
Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. These look good. But I'd triple the bacon, at least.

    ReplyDelete

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