Holidays, especially Christmas, is all about the red meat. Beef roasts, rack of lamb, steaks, ham are all common main dishes of the loved holiday, but what about those who aren’t fond of red meat? Don’t get me wrong, I love my steaks, but this post is more about presenting a dish that will please almost everyone. Bacon wrapped cheese stuffed chicken for a fancy dinner? Why not? If you have guests who you’re unsure of their food preferences, prepare this dish and just hope they’re not vegetarian! Cheese, bacon, chicken, what’s not to love?
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- zest of 1 lime
- 3 garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
- 4 chicken thighs
- 4 strips bacon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine parmesan - jalapeno in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Lay the chicken thighs flat on a work surface. Using a mallet, pound the chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Scoop 1/4 cup of the filling towards one end of the chicken thigh. Roll the chicken to enclose the filling, placing it seam side down. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Take one strip of bacon and carefully wrap it around the chicken. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Bake chicken for 35-40 minutes or until the bacon is browned and crispy. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Whenever you’re trying to please a crowd, you can’t go wrong with bacon wrapped anything. Bacon wrapped asparagus, bacon wrapped figs, bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, even bacon wrapped dates are incredibly delicious. Keeping this in mind, I knew this bacon wrapped cheese stuffed chicken dish would be a hit. Not only do I love the flavors in this dish, it’s incredibly easy to prepare.
Make your filling, mixing together the cheese with egg, breadcrumbs and jalapeno. I happened to have fresno on hand so I used that instead, but any fresh chili would do. If possible, make your own breadcrumbs, but if you’re more about convenience, panko bread crumbs work just fine as well.
Pound out the chicken thighs to make it easier to roll and to allow for more even cooking. When seasoning the chicken, go easy on the salt since the cheese and bacon already add some saltiness to the dish.
Now comes the fun part, rolling the chicken thighs!
Place the stuffing towards one end of the thigh and roll those babies up, keeping the seams side down.
Wrap the bacon securely around the chicken. This requires a steady hand but practice makes perfect. The bacon not only adds flavor, it acts as a bind to keep the stuffing tightly enclosed.
My mouth is salivating already and these aren’t even cooked yet!
Bake until the bacon is browned and crispy. Serve these with a fresh salad and garlic bread for a complete meal. Although the portion may look small, these are deceptively filling. The chicken thighs are well seasoned with just the right amount of cheese. The fresh herbs, lime zest and jalapeno all help balance the saltiness of the cheese and bacon. Easy to prepare and delicious, just what every meal should be!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.