Winner, Winner – Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Dinner!

What’s for dinner?

I dug around in the freezer and found two separate ziploc bags (each containing two boneless, skinless chicken breasts) and a small package of center cut bacon. Score! Everything is better with bacon. I thought bacon wrapped chicken breasts would be quick and easy.  Then I opened the refrigerator and starting poking around in there. What did I want to make to accompany the chicken and bacon?  On the door of the fridge I found a jar of jalapeños and a jar of roasted red peppers. I thought about making rice and adding in jalapeño and roasted red peppers with some cheese. So I opened the cheese drawer and there I found a block of Neufchatel. Then it hit me: Bacon wrapped STUFFED chicken breasts! About 45 minutes later, dinner was on the table.

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
All purpose seasoning (I like the Adobo brand)
Seasoned black pepper

Ingredients for Filling:
1 block Neufchatel (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup (or more) pickled jalapeño , finely chopped (fresh would be great!)
1 roasted red pepper (from the jar or fresh), finely chopped

Center cut bacon strips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix Neufchatel, paprika, jalapeño and roasted red pepper together. Set aside.

Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast with seasoned pepper and all purpose seasoning. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese filling mixture on top of each chicken breast.

Roll each chicken breast, from narrow end to narrow end. Wrap 2-3 pieces of bacon around each chicken breast. Secure with toothpicks. Place in a baking pan.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Then turn up the heat and broil for 5-10 minutes (watch them closely after 5 minutes) until the bacon is crispy.

The next time I make this, I will remove the chicken from the serving pan and thicken up the “juices” and filling that remained in the pan to pour it over the chicken. (I found myself with a spoon having a little  “dessert” of the pan drippings as I was putting away leftovers.) I will also probably add a few shakes of hot sauce into the cream cheese mixture.

I served the chicken with a simple “salad” of tomatoes and finely diced onions over lettuce leaves. A bit of sea salt, freshly ground pepper, olive oil and balsamic was drizzled over the tomatoes.

While the chicken was in the oven I made a pot of rice – a rice blend of California wild and brown rice. Don’t tell my husband it was “healthy” rice. He had two servings of it!

With the start of the school year approaching, my dinner menus will go back to being planned out for the week. I do really enjoy digging into the refrigerator, freezer and pantry and coming up with some tasty combination and seeing it all come together.

Make dinner. (Or log on to Hire A Chef http://www.hireachef.com/ to arrange to find dinner made for you!) There is no better place to be than sitting around the dining room table, talking about the day and eating with your family.

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