There are some things I miss about NYC. How good Amazon is there, amazing little restaurants serving the best snacks, overly cool cocktail bars, the neverending discovery of something new at every corner AND, wait for it....... Dive bars! There was something about them when you wanted a few chilled beers, average as F food but super tasty too. SO, with that being said I've tried to "fancy" up an American classic and make it slightly healthier and family-friendly. I give you jalapeno popper style chicken. Using some delicious Inglewood Organic Chicken these beauts are pretty simple to make and I have to admit. Tasty too 😉
WHAT ARE JALAPENO POPPERS?
The perfect beer/bar snack! Go into any dive bar, beer bar or sports bar in America and they probably have jalapeno poppers on the menu - or at least they used to at one stage. Simply, these little bites of joy are jalapeno peppers that have been hollowed out and stuffed with cheese, cream cheese & spices. Sometimes bacon is added or the jalapeno itself is wrapped in bacon. More often than not they are breaded and deep-fried too. Making these bites, salty, spicy and crunchy. Everything you want as you sit at the bar chucking back a few cold ones!
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT CHILI PEPPER?
Sure can. Jalapenos are used in the traditional recipe as they have a good balance of heat but also because of their size allows them to be stuffed. Imagine trying to stuff a little Thai red chilli or a cayenne chilli? I guess it could be done but damn would it be fiddly! Here we are taking the concept of jalapeno poppers and using it as a stuffing for the delicious Inglewood Organic Chicken. You could use green chilis, cayenne, habanero - so many to choose from. Just bare in mind what the spice levels of each chilli are because some will blow your mind!
CAN I USE ANOTHER CUT OF CHICKEN?
I find that the breast is best for this application. You are trying to stuff the chicken with the jalapeno popper mix, not that it can't be done with other cuts but it's just a little trickier. Alternatively, you can make the stuffing into a little sauce with the addition of some cream and enjoy it with chicken thighs.
HOW TO STUFF THE CHICKEN BREAST
Firstly, remove the flappy bit hanging off your chicken breast. This is known as the tenderloin - it's delicious. Stir-fry it, crumbed inside a taco or skewered and onto the BBQ. Next, place your breast down onto a chopping board. Using a sharp knife cut into the thick part of the breast. You want to cut far enough in to create a little pocket but not to cut through to the other side. Next, take your cold filling and stuff a heaped tbsp in. Making sure there is enough chicken to cover over the stuffing to form a seal. At this point just keep it simple and use a toothpick or two to seal the breast. Season it and job done!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH JALAPENO POPPER STYLE CHICKEN?
Here I have served it with a corn hash. A hash (in America) is made up of chopped vegetables, potatoes and usually meat that is fried. Given we have the meat in the form of the jalapeno popper style chicken we are keeping it to a potato & vegetable hash. Alternatively, some creamed spinach would work too, a nice salad or a good old bowl of chips.
CAN I FRY THE CHICKEN?
If you want to take it one step closer to the traditional jalapeno popper then 100% you can flour, egg & breadcrumb the chicken. Personally though trying to a) keep the calories down b) enjoy the juicy Inglewood Organic Chicken and c) save on work/time I kept it simple with this one!
MY STUFFING MIXTURE LEAKS OUT
The key to keeping the stuffing mix inside comes with having a cold mix when you start off. Making sure your cut into the chicken is far enough in to push the stuffing into the centre and also the seal. I used toothpicks to hold the seal in place. Alternatives to this are to bread the chicken to keep the seal tight. OR if you want to get "fancy" you can roll it in clingfilm into what's called a ballotine. This is where you roll the chicken tightly into a thick sausage shape and let it set in a cold fridge. The meat can either be poached and then seared in a pan or you can just sear it and pop it straight into the oven. It's a little extra work though!
Truthfully though for that delicious Tuesday night dinner, my advice is to stuff the breast tightly and toothpick the edges closed and get her into the oven so you can get the kids to bed ASAP 😉
ALTERNATIVE EPIC CHICKEN RECIPES!
If you are inspired by this delicious jalapeno popper style chicken then click through the links below for some more chicken inspiration!
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!!
- 4 Inglewood chicken breast approx. 250g each
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 jalapenos diced finely
- 1 spring onions diced finely
- 50 g cream cheese
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 50 g cheddar cheese grated
- 10 g coriander chopped finely
- salt & pepper
- 1 ear sweetcorn kernals remove (frozen works too)
- 80 g sweet potato diced
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1 red capsicum diced
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Mix all the stuffing mix together and place leave in the fridge to cool
- Slice a pocket into the chicken breast – being careful not to cut all the way through
- Place a heaped tbsp of the stuffing mix into the breast and fold it over creating a seal
- Use toothpicks to keep the seal closed
- Season the chicken and sear on frying pan for 1-2 minutes to brown the top
- Place in an oven @ 220c and cook for 20 minutes – times will differ depending upon the size of your breasts
- With 2 minutes to go on the chicken heat a frying pan with 1 tbsp oil and fry the vegetables for the hash. Remove chicken from oven, allow to rest for a couple minutes while you cook the vegetables.
- Remove toothpicks and serve whole or slice at an angle, being gentle not to push down on the breast so you don’t lose the filling
- chef knives
- chopping board
- measuring utensils
- mixing bowl
- frying pan
- baking tray
- keeping the stuffing mix cold will help make the stuffing easier and also helps it not to leak out
- using toothpicks helps to create a seal for the stuffing not to leak (see pics)
- allow the chicken to rest the same as you would steak – the juices need to redistribute
- you can add bacon to the stuffing mix too or even wrap the chicken in bacon to help keep the stuffing in and the breast moist