Introduction: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
If you're looking for a delicious, easy recipe for a special night at home, this is the one for you. We all know that bacon makes everything better, which is why bacon-wrapped chicken has turned into a favorite on our dinner table. Not only is it a quick recipe, but the ingredients list for this meal is so short that you'll most likely be saved a trip to the grocery store. Once you bite into this succulent combination of bacon and chicken, you'll be sure to save this recipe for future use. Just make sure to throw in a salad and some exercise so that this addicting dish doesn't start to ruin that waistline you've been working so hard on.
Step 1: Ingredients & Preparation
- 3 boneless chicken breasts
- 15 strips of bacon
- shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- chive & onion cream cheese
(makes 6 servings)
Step 2: Cut Chicken Slices
Depending on the sizes of your chicken breasts, you may need to cut them in half. Cut the chicken so that the pieces are about the size of the palm of your hand, this will make wrapping them much easier. If you have very thick cuts of chicken, you might consider cutting them in half to reduce the thickness. In the next step you'll be flattening the chicken, but this will be easier if the slices aren't too thick in the first place.
Step 3: Flatten Chicken
Be sure to relieve as much stress as you can in this important step. Flatten the chicken down to 1/2" thickness.
There are a few ways of doing this. You can either wrap the chicken in saran wrap or use a ziploc bag, then smash it with whatever you've got. If you have a meat tenderizer, that would be the best tool for the job, but a rolling pin works great too.
Step 4: Lay Out Bacon
You want to lay out several strips of bacon as a bed for the chicken. As a bacon lover, I use four strips per piece of chicken; however, three is sufficient to cover the chicken if you line them all up to wrap it in the same direction.
Step 5: Place Chicken
Place the chicken in the middle of your prepared bacon. For the most effective wrapping, make sure that the chicken is centered correctly. You also want to dot the chicken with butter at this point, just lightly coating it's surface. This is also the moment for seasoning the chicken with a little bit of salt.
Step 6: Spread Cream Cheese
Spread the onion & chive cream cheese on the chicken. 1-2 tablespoons per piece of chicken works out just fine.
If you don't have onion & chive cream cheese, there are many alternatives that are still delicious. If using regular cream cheese, mix it with a few pinches of garlic salt first. You can also use jalapenos or green chilies if you're looking to add a little more spice.
Step 7: Add Shredded Cheese
Throw a little bit of cheese on top of the cream cheese. I prefer regular cheddar because I usually just have it in the fridge. If you are a cheese connoisseur, or just have a good diversity of cheeses stocked up, I would recommend Pepper Jack cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, or Mozzarella cheese.
Step 8: Finish Bacon Wrap
Finish wrapping the piece of chicken. If you're using 4 strips of bacon, you should try to get a fairly tight seal. If using less bacon, do your best to try and keep the cheese and cream cheese covered. You want the wrap to be tight enough that the cheese will stay in place during the cooking process.
Step 9: Lay Out Chicken
Place the wrapped pieces of chicken on a well-greased 9x13 inch pan. Cook the chicken at 400 degrees Farenheit for 25-30 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Getting a perfect cook on both the chicken and bacon can be tricky. After 25 minutes at 400 degrees, the chicken should be done. At this point the bacon is still pretty chewy. To help the bacon catch up, change the oven to broil for about 5 minutes, or until your desired level of crispiness is achieved. The 5 minutes of broiling works when the pan is 5-6 inches away from the top of the oven, so you may want to move your oven rack up to the top spot to finish off the cooking.
Step 10: Enjoy!
Once the chicken and bacon are both cooked, remove from the oven and enjoy! I always recommend a lighter side, such as a Caesar salad or steamed broccoli, as this entree is pretty darn heavy, and very filling.
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