It turns out that you really can consider jalapeno poppers a meal! Particularly when you use them as a spicy-creamy filling in a chicken breast. We turned one of America's most popular appetizers into a main dish that will still make you sweat and have you insatiably popping these back.
Serve these with some Southwestern-style rice and some of your favorite grilled vegetables. Here's a way to get your fill of jalapeno poppers and not feel guilty one iota. So stuff away!
JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN BREASTS
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME 30 to 45 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple or Pecan
THINGS YOU’LL NEED
• 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
• 2 ounces finely grated Colby or Monterey Jack cheese (about 1/2 cup)
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or diced
• 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus 6 whole sprigs for garnish
• 2 teaspoons Traeger Cajun Rub (or your favorite rub), plus more as needed
• 2 teaspoons of your favorite Mexican-style hot sauce, or more to taste
• 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 6 to 8 ounces each, tenders removed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
HOW TO MAKE
Make the cheese filling: Put the cream cheese and colby cheese in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Work in the garlic, bacon, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro, 2 teaspoons of Traeger Cajun Rub, and the hot sauce. Taste for seasoning, adding more rub or hot sauce as desired.
Using a boning knife or paring knife, carefully make a slit in the center of the thickest end of each chicken breast, moving your knife toward the thinner end to form a deep pocket. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to gently widen the hole.
Stuff each pocket with some of the cheese mixture, tamping it with the spoon handle. (Alternatively, if the cheese mixture is at room temperature, you can transfer it to a resealable plastic bag; cut the corner and squeeze the cheese into the pocket.)
Oil the outside of each chicken breast with the vegetable oil and season with Traeger Cajun Rub. If desired, pin the hole shut with a toothpick so the cheese filling doesn’t leak out.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Arrange the chicken breasts on the grill grate. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Transfer to a platter or plates and remove any toothpick. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs.
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Breasts Recipe.docx (12.86 kb)