Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Thighs

By Jeff Graham

Votes: 367

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Home Run Ribs

By Brandon Dreiling

Votes: 252

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About Jeff Graham

Dedicated father, acclaimed home cook, and decorated barbecue contestant, I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself and improve my cooking skills. It would be a great honor to be chosen for Meat Madness. If selected, I'd have to turn down some exciting opportunities, including going through spring training with the Astros, touring with Billy Joel, advising Warren Buffett on stock purchases, and tutoring Neil deGrasse Tyson. A lot of disappointment, but they'll just have to understand

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About Brandon Dreiling

Hail from Kansas, raised an Army brat. Recent charcoal-to-Traeger convert. Not afraid to grill in below freezing temperatures (love the Traeger blanket) but enjoy firing up the grill and enjoying a baseball game with a beer in hand.

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Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Thighs

By Jeff Graham

I came up with this for a cookoff a couple of years ago. I wanted a dish that would just leap out of the box and really grab the judges attention. It needed to be visually appealing and full of flavor, but I also wanted it to have something unexpected. I hid my stuffed jalapenos inside boneless chicken thighs, and then put a bacon weave around the whole bundle. I guess you could say, "Mission accomplished." It brought me my first blue ribbon at a major barbecue cookoff. Hope you like it.

Serves: 4

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Honey powder
  • 2 tsp Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp Ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Smoked sweeet paprika
  • 1/2 lbs Mexican chorizo
  • 1/2 lbs Cream cheese, softened for 30-45 minutes at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Green olives, chopped
  • 8 piece Jalapenos, mediums sized
  • 8 piece Prosciutto slices, thinly sliced
  • 8 piece Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 32 piece Maple bacon slices

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker, grill, or oven to 275 degrees. If using a grill, prepare it for indirect heat. If using a smoker, I like a sweeter fruitwood for this dish, preferably peach or sassafras, but pick your favorite.
  2. Combine the chili powder, honey powder, cocoa powder, adobo seasoning, coriander, and paprika, and mix well and set aside.
  3. Heat the chorizo in a skillet over medium to render out the fat. When the chorizo is browned, drain the fat and mix the warm sausage with the cream cheese, chopped green olives, and one teaspoon of the spice mixture. When well mixed, transfer the mixture to a plastic bag. Snip off the corner of the bag, and pipe the cheese mixture into the cored jalapenos. If the mixture is too think for piping, you can either thin it with a little of the melted chorizo fat or heat the mixture in the microwave at ten second intervals until thin enough. Don’t overheat it, or the mixture could separate.
  4. Lay out one slice of prosciutto on a cutting board. Place one of the stuffed jalapenos perpendicularly on the prosciutto slice. Roll the prosciutto up around the jalapeno until well-wrapped. Continue with the remaining jalapenos until all eight are wrapped. Set them aside for later.
  5. Pound the chicken thighs between sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap until they’re just under ½” thick. Lay one of the thighs onto the cutting board, smooth side down. Season the thigh well with the spice blend. Lay the pepper package on the thigh, and then wrap it up snugly and season the outside of the thigh with the spice blend. Repeat for all eight thighs.
  6. Using four slices of the bacon, make a basket-weave pattern. Place the wrapped chicken thigh, seam side down, on the bacon weave. Wrap the bacon securely around the thighs, optionally completing the weave on the underside. If done right, it should be about the size and shape of a standard bone-in chicken thigh. Place the bacon-wrapped thigh seam side down on a baking sheet to rest while you finish the other thighs. If using your oven, use a rack on your bacon sheet to keep the thighs out of the fat while they cook.
  7. Cook the thighs at 275 for 1½-2 hours, or until they reach 165 degrees. Allow to rest 15-20 minutes so the cheese can set back up. To serve, slice one of the thighs in half diagonally to show all of the layers.
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Home Run Ribs

By Brandon Dreiling

This dry rub is great for steak, pork or beef ribs, chicken and more. It is a full-flavored blend of spices and herbs with just enough of a kick to have you go back for seconds - or thirds. For a bit more of a kick add some barbecue sauce with a twist.

Serves: 6

Recipe Ingredients

Dry Rub

  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp chili powder

Sauce

  • 2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's original BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Recipe Instructions

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients - except the salt to make the rub. Leftover rub can be stored in an air tight container.
  2. Rub it on an hour before grilling or even overnight. Sprinkle the salt on no more than an hour before placing the ribs on the grill
  3. Mix cider vinegar, BBQ sauce and 2 tablespoons of dry rub.
  4. Fire up the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until fire is established. Smoke the ribs for 90 minutes to two hours.
  5. Lay out a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, drizzle sauce on the foil, place the ribs on top. Drizzle the top of the ribs and wrap the ribs. Return the foil wrapped ribs to the grill, set the temperature to 225º, cook for two hours. Set the temperature to 250º and continue to cook the ribs for an additional 90 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180, remove the ribs from the foil, return them to the grill for 30 minutes.
  6. Drizzle sauce on ribs before serving.
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