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Most of us have enjoyed a few jalapeno poppers in our day. Now, I’m not talking about the fast-food kind where they have half a jalapeno with some cheese in the middle deep-fried. I’m talking about those Texas jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in some good bacon. We typically see these poppers served as a side to some good barbeque. However, I’ve got a tweak to the normal recipe that moves it a few steps up the chain. In fact, upon eating just one and a half of these big peppers, I found I couldn’t eat the main dish because I was too full!
- 20 fresh jalapenos (the larger the better)
- 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 8oz. block of Philadelphia cream cheese softened
- 1 cup of Mexican cheese
- 1-2 packs of your favorite bacon
- chopped chives to taste
- chopped basil to taste
- chopped dill to taste
- Begin by preheating the oven to 350 (F) if you plan to bake the poppers.
- While the oven comes up to temp, season and cook your chicken to your preference. (For this recipe I usually go with steak seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and a tiny bit of Knorr’s chicken bouillon. I then either grill the chicken or cook it in a pan until done.)
- Once the chicken is completely done, shred it in a medium bowl and put it to the side.
- Next, cut the tops of the jalapenos off, and slice them in half lengthwise. (Note: If you’d like it to be less spicy, remove and discard the veins and seeds, but if you want it to have a kick, add all the insides to the bowl with the chicken.)
- In the bowl with the shredded chicken, add to it the softened cream cheese, Mexican cheese, and any herbs you opted to add and mix well by hand.
- Once the mixture is well incorporated, take your now empty jalapenos and stuff them with the mixture. Put the two halves back together so that it looks like they did before and wrap them with bacon. (Make sure to completely cover them, leaving hardly any jalapeno exposed.)
- Once you’ve got all the jalapenos filled and wrapped, then it’s time to arrange them so that you can cook them. There are two different ways to go about this. You can either take them out to the grill and barbeque them until the bacon is cooked thoroughly or to your liking. The other way is that you simply bake them for around 15 to 18 minutes and if you’d like, followed up by a quick broil until browned, or about 3 minutes.
- Once the bacon is completely cooked to your liking, they are ready. Let them cool for about 5-10 minutes, or until you’re able to handle them by hand and enjoy!
Things will be much easier and go by quicker if you’ve got a partner to help you. When wrapping the poppers, you can also set a toothpick in them to hold the bacon in place if you need. If you decide to keep the seeds and veins in, then have some ice-cold sweet tea on standby, and if you think you’ll get full off these big boys then perhaps forget this being a side, and instead pair this as your main dish next to some chips and salsa for your side. If you decide to add the herbs, you don’t have to add them all – you can add just one or a mixture of two, or all if you’d like. Last but not least, make sure you’ve got good quality ingredients to start with. It does make a difference in not just this recipe, but all recipes.