Sunday, May 12, 2013

Crusted Chicken with Zesty Jalapeno Sauce

Jalapeno Chicken
You know those days when you have just pulled chicken breasts from the fridge and now you're standing there wondering "what would go good with chicken tonight?"  or "baked chicken again? HELP!" There are so many recipes for chicken out there that it can make your head spin.

Well, help is here! I recently had this dilemma and after looking in the fridge so long that my ears started getting cold, I pulled out some leftovers and got to work. This recipe is adapted from Elly Says Opa's recipe but instead of using my popper ingredients as a stuffing, I changed it a bit and made it a sauce to put on top of my chicken. Then my husband said "Let's add bacon" and it went into the sauce as well.

5 strips of bacon
1 cup corn meal
1 egg, beaten
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise
1 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 cup chicken broth
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1/4 cup chive & onion flavored cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plain cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
For complete nutrition information, click the magic button
Jalapeno Chicken
Cook the bacon until crispy. Set the bacon fat aside... You'll use it later. Chop the bacon and set it aside.

Heat another large deep skillet with olive oil. 

Put the egg and corn meal in two different coating trays. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, then into the corn meal. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crust is crispy and chicken is no longer pink on the inside. The best way is to use a food thermometer to ensure it is cooked all the way through.
Jalapeno Chicken
Meanwhile, in the bacon skillet, heat the bacon fat. Add the jalapenos and cook until soft. Add the chicken broth and garlic, scraping the bottom of the pan to add more bacon flavor. Add both cream cheeses and stir until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese and blend until melted. 
Jalapeno Chicken
Finally, add the chopped bacon and serve as a sauce over the chicken. 
Jalapeno Chicken
The chicken turned out to be so very moist and tender with a crispy crust that was very flavorful in itself. The sauce was not as spicy as I thought it would be. Cooking it in the bacon toned down the heat while keeping the jalapeno flavor intact. And using two different cream cheeses gave the sauce a hint of onion and keeping it soft and creamy. 

Now, I cheated and used canned corn as a side dish. It was a "Fiesta Blend" that we found at Big Lots and I think the black beans and peppers added some zest to an otherwise boring side dish. 
Jalapeno Chicken
So, next time you're standing there in front of the fridge, scratching your head to find a good recipe for chicken, give this one a try. It's juicy chicken with a jalapeno punch. 

This delicious recipe was featured at Sew-Licious Saturday Show-licious Craft Showcase #34

Also featured on JamHands Recipe Sharing Monday #52 
Jam Hands



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