I sooo wish my hubby shared the same love for spicy-hot things like this as I do! It was so, so very good that I asked, nicely, prompting and enticing him to try it – – just one single PREMO bite prepared on the fork with great care!! – – but, alas, it was a no-try-no-thank-you for him. So to each his own. But I swear to you, you’re going to miss out if you don’t give this a try! And it’s not even really hot. Oh, you can raise the roof as high as you’d like. Go ahead, toss a few chopped habaneros in the filling if you’re into torturing your entire insides and end up wishing you could just die where you stand, but this version is TRULY a “please all”, PG-rated, non-emergency room – I think I’m going to die – version. Seriously, I was so much enjoying us just sitting together at our little table in the dinette, that I didn’t want to get up and grab the jalapeño hot sauce back out of the fridge! But honestly, I could’ve handled much, much more! What can I say, I like it hot now and then! Not scorch my taste buds off for life to never taste again kind of hot – – tears running down my face running for the fridge to chug a gallon of milk down to put the fire out hot – – but dang, just venture out of the shoebox, trust the cook, and just plain enjoy experiencing something new and different now and then. 😉 Arg. If you’re paddling upstream with one oar because somebody took the other one too, I know the feeling well. He’s coming around…but it takes years to erase the past. And thankfully, I have a LOT of patience! 😉
Here’s a quick pic of the inside…it got a bit messy when I was rushing, but I hope you at least get a small idea of what’s going on inside. Nothing tricky, just a wonderfully creamy filling! But it was getting late, and the hubs was getting very hungry for his favorite chicken, so I had to pick up the pace and didn’t take the time to let it rest as it should have.
So anyways, it was AMAZINGLY good! I swear to you! The chicken breasts are pounded thin and filled with a wonderful cream cheese filling blended with a nice addition of sharp blue cheese, smokey bacon, finely chopped onion, and just a smidgeon of minced garlic and pepper. The chicken rolls are then given a quick bath in a creamy jalapeño pepper sauce cooled with a little mayo, and then rolled into a fine breadcrumb mixture with added parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, and a bit of cumin. It’s then baked to a gorgeous golden brown, topped with a mound of shredded pepperjack cheese until the cheese melts and gloriously coats the chicken, and is finally topped with a small dollop of sour cream and jalapeño rings!! WHOA!! What’s not to love about that?? Kill me now!! It was wonderful. Truly divine. No other words. And super simple to make, too. It will be made again. And I will enjoy IMMENSELY. Hopefully in unison with a willing hubby next time! Or at least maybe get him to try one teeny bite…we’ll see. 😉
So even if you don’t care for hot food, you’ll really enjoy this! If you want it hotter, you can decrease the mayo and up the hot sauce, or add some diced jalapeños or green chilies to the filling. And if you’re not a fan of blue cheese, you can always sub with extra-sharp white or regular cheddar. I simply served with my Creamy Austrian Rice & Baby Peas that we had leftover and it went together very, very well! But you could serve with a “green rice” (cilantro), or a even a Mexican or Spanish rice if desired. But rice just seemed to pair perfectly. So I do hope you give this a try sometime instead of tacos for Mexican night! It’s very easy to make and such a nice change of pace! Enjoy, and have a warm and spicy evening after a chilly autumn day 🙂
FIRECRACKER CHICKEN ROLLS filled with CREAMY BLUE CHEESE & BACON
Serves 2 (*Can easily be doubled)
1/3 cup cream cheese, very soft
1 Tbl. + 1 tsp. finely crumbled blue cheese, more if desired
2 strips crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh onion
1/4 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy mayonnaise
2 Tbl. green jalapeño hot pepper sauce, I use Tabasco’s
1/2 cup dry Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/16 tsp. cayenne
Rest of Ingredients:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin (1/4 – 1/3″ thick)
1 1/2 cups shredded pepperjack cheese
*2 Tbl. sour cream, optional condiment
*2 dashes of paprika, optional garnish
*pickled sliced jalapeños, optional condiment
In small bowl, mix filling ingredients, cover and pop into fridge to chill a few minutes until needed.
In second medium-sized shallow bowl, mix marinade ingredients and set aside.
In shallow dish such as a pie plate, stir breading ingredients until mixed. Set aside.
Pound chicken breasts thin, and place half of the cream cheese mixture down centers, lengthwise, of each underside of chicken breast. Spread to cover center third of chicken. Fold outside edges in, and roll up tightly starting from pointy end. Tooth pick closed if desired, but I didn’t and it didn’t even need them. (*They’ll be placed seam side-down later.)
One at a time, spoon half of the marinade mixture onto each bottom (seam side) of chicken rolls and place into bread crumb mixture coating bottom well. Spread the rest of the sauce onto each of the tops and sides and coat well with crumbs patting on. PLace onto a foil-lined and sprayed, or parchment paper-lined, baking sheet sprinkled with a little crumbs. Sprinkle on any extra crumbs and pat on.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees while chicken rolls are resting. When oven is hot, bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and top each evenly with cheese piling on. Pop back into oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cheese has melted.
Remove to serving plates and let rest 5 minutes. Top with sour cream, sprinkle with paprika and garnish with pickled jalapeño slices of desired. Serve with additional Jalapeño Hot Sauce if desired.