Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cream Cheese Makes Everything Better

Chicken and I have a love/hate relationship. There are times when I can't get enough of it, chicken enchiladas, chicken spaghetti, and of course, chicken fried chicken. The rest of the time, I'm usually less than excited about having chicken. If it is grilled, broiled, roasted or baked, I'm out. I'll eat it, but not with my normal enthusiasm. I know I know, it probably all has to do with the seasoning, marinade, rub, or whatever, but that still doesn't make me a fan. This being said, I have been attempting to spice it up a bit and try new things to make me love chicken all the time. This recipe came out of my love for cream cheese, jalapenos and tortillas chips. It received a "damn that was good" from The Boy!

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 Chicken Breasts ( or thighs if you prefer dark meat)
2 Fresh Jalapenos ( chopped)
1 Pkg Whipped Cream Cheese (room temperature)
2 Cups Crushed Tortilla Chips

Preheat Oven to 425

1. Combine the cream cheese and diced jalapenos in a medium bowl.
2. Butterfly cut the chicken breasts. It doesn't have to be perfectly even, you just want to make sure that one half isn't obviously thicker than the other. This makes it easier to cook all the way through.
3. Place your crushed tortilla chips in a shallow bowl.
4. Take two big spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture and spread it on one side of each piece of chicken. I want to taste the filling, not have it as an after thought.
5. Fold the second half of the chicken on top .
6. Place each piece of chicken into the shallow bowl with the tortilla chips and make sure they are covered on both side. Chips do not stick as easy as bread crumbs or flour, so you may need to pat them gently into the chick to cover it.
7. Put the chicken in your baking dish and cook from 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts.
8. When the chicken is cooked and the cream cheese is melty and gooey, plate it and you are ready to go.

You really don't want a sauce to go with the chicken, because it will make the tortilla chips soggy, so we just used salsa. I served it with a mix of black beans/corn and a big salad.

You can use pickled jalapenos if you don't like fresh. You can add chili powder or powdered ranch to the crushed tortilla chips if you want some extra flavor.

I know it's too hot to turn the stove on some nights, but this one is worth it. Leftovers can be reheated in the regular oven or toaster oven and it's just as good if not better.

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