Whenever I walk past the frozen foods section of the grocery store, I will always stop and take a long hard look at those jalapeno poppers. I don’t care how bad they are for me or what they are actually made of, I want them. Just writing that last sentence made me seriously consider making a special trip to the store on the way home today and picking up a box.
If you’re like me and are borderline obsessed with these deep fried, golden brown, cheese filled little delicacies… fear not, I have a (healthier) solution that you can make as an actual meal (or you could just down a whole box of poppers by yourself and call it a night… I won’t judge you).
As much as I like deep fried snacks, I will usually spare myself the unnecessary calories if I can find a suitable baked replacement… and since chicken breasts are my go-to when it comes to cheap protein, it only made sense to get a nice cheesy jalapeno blend and cram as much of it into a piece of chicken as I could.
Mind you, nothing can replace the jalapeno popper, but if you’re looking for a meal version of your favorite appetizer… here you go.
Step 1: Create your mixture!
Get that perfect blend of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, diced onions and freshly diced jalapenos. You’ll want to scale the jalapenos depending on preference… but I think my ratio was a good middle ground when it came to heat (I do like spicy food though).
Step 2: Stuff that chicken!
I opted for a nice thin pounding of the chicken breast and then smeared a good amount of the cheese mixture on and rolled it up. You could get by just as well if you cut a slit in the breast and packed it full of cheese… but I found it to be much more equally distributed with the pound and roll method.
Once they’re rolled, breaded and tooth-picked, I usually spray the hell out of them with a decent cooking spray and pop em in the oven. The spray makes the panko a little crispier than it would come out on its own. (I would like the panko to come out a little crispier still, if anyone has some tips on how to get a nice crisp outside when you bake chicken… please let me know!)
This jalapeno popper chicken is absolutely delicious. If you’re like me and love cream cheese, chicken, and a little spice… you need to make these tonight.
I like to harass my dogs while I wait for the food to cook.
Say hi to Cooper! He’s had a rough year (herniated discs -> paralyzed -> surgery -> rehab) but is doing much better now and is back to terrorizing the squirrels outside. These are the eyes he gives me whenever I take cheese out of the refrigerator… he is my little cheese addict.