Introduction: Melt in Your Mouth Bacon Chicken Poppers
First time I had one of these was at an event during college. It was outside and the poppers (I don’t remember what they were originally billed as) were cooked on a grill and tasted amazing.
Years later I decided to try and re-create that recipe while adding my own twist on it (that’s where the jalapenos come in).
One of the great things about this recipe is that the poppers can be prepared ahead of time. For example, after I assembled all of my poppers while making this Instructable I had to go pick up my husband and I wasn't able to cook them rightaway. So I wrapped the uncooked poppers up and put them in the fridge until I was able to cook them.
Step 1: The Ingredients...
Chicken breast/tenders (thin sliced)
½-1 pack cream cheese
Skewers (soaked overnight--recommended if using an outdoor grille) *
Mushrooms (I usually make my jalapeno poppers with mushrooms mixed into the cream cheese, tastes great!)*
Step 2: The Chicken...
Because my husband doesn't eat meat and our housemate wasn't around, I looked for the smallest pack of chicken I could get (Trader Joe's is where I like to get small packs of breast meat without breaking bank).
After the chicken is out of the package, I like to dry it off with paper towels and then trim off all the fat and excess skin etc.
Then I laid each piece out and tried to flatten them as much as I could without tearing the pieces apart. If you can get the thin sliced breasts, that's what I'd recommend to save time and trouble. Thin slices make it easier to roll together your pieces.
Step 3: The Jalapenos...
Last spring my students discovered a jalapenos corer in a gardening brochure. I had to order it. It's amazing and I highly recommend one for anyone who loves jalapenos but doesn't love stinging eyes. $6 on Amazon.com
After coring the jalapenos, I sliced them somewhat thin. Later I went back to chopped them all in half so they would fit easier inside the wraps.
Step 4: The Cheese...
Letter your cream cheese get to room temperature makes it much easier to spread. I choose to spread the cream cheese all over the chicken before I cut it into pieces, I think doing this way is also much easier than cutting up the chicken and then adding the cheese. The last thing I do is add the jalapenos.
Step 5: The Bacon...
I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's holiday bacon, it's a nice thickness and tastes great. Depending on the size of the poppers, I will make 1-2 cuts along the width and then slice those pieces in half. I generally set one popper towards the end of each bacon strip and then wrap. I try to get the middle of the bacon covering the cream cheese to avoid leakage. Then I slide 1-2 toothpicks to hold the poppers together.
Step 6: Cooking...
I have an indoor grille my parents gave me one year. I love it and use it pretty frequently.
Plug it in, turn it on to 400, and then throw your poppers onto the grille and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the bacon is crispy. The smaller the chicken pieces, the shorter the cooking time.
On an outdoor grille I would either skewer them or cook them on tin foil.
Don’t want to use a grille? Preheat oven to 350, place the poppers on a broiler pan rack, bake 30-35 minutes or until crispy and cooked all the way through.