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Crunchy Pepper Jack Chicken

July 7, 2013

Pepper Jack Chicken (1)

With it’s crispy outside coating and creamy, yet spicy filling, this chicken is delicious.  Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (1)

(Pictures show the recipe cut in half)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1/4 cup Brummel and Brown butter  (not shown in the picture)

Place 1/4 cup butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish in the microwave and heat until butter is melted.  Set aside.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (8)

10 oz. Pepper Jack cheese (block)

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Cut Pepper Jack cheese into 6 equal pieces (measuring about 3/8″ x 4″)

Cut a horizontal slit into the side of each chicken breast – don’t cut all the way through.

Place one piece of cheese in the pocket of each chicken breast.

To secure the cheese in the pocket, use 2-3 wooden toothpicks.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (3)

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (4)

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (5)

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup salsa (not chunky) or taco sauce (mild or medium)  If you don’t have non-chunky salsa on hand, just blend your chunky salsa until smooth.

1/4 tsp. salt

In a shallow pan or plate, mix together the eggs, salsa and salt.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (6)

2 cups panko breadcrumbs *

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. dried oregano or italian seasoning

*  Japanese panko crumbs can be found in the ethnic section at the grocery store.  Panko crumbs are much lighter than regular breadcrumbs and make a crunchier coating when baked.

In a separate shallow pan, combine the panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, garlic salt, and oregano or italian seasoning.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (7)

Dip each chicken breast in the egg mixture to coat, then dip in the panko crumb mixture.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (9)

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (10)

Place chicken in melted butter, turning to coat with butter.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (12)

Bake uncovered about 35 – 40 minutes.

1 Pepper Jack Chicken (13)

Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole, salsa, sour cream.  Note:  We just preferred the guacamole.

FREEZE AHEAD

Omit the first step of preparing the melted butter in the pan until serving day.

Prepare chicken and then place breaded chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan.

Freeze for 1 hour.

Carefully wrap each chicken breast individually in plastic wrap and place together in freezer bag.

FULL RECIPE WITHOUT PICTURES —

CRUNCHY PEPPER JACK CHICKEN

1/4 cup Brummel and Brown butter

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

10 oz. Pepper Jack cheese (block)

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup salsa (not chunky) or taco sauce (mild or medium)  If you don’t have non-chunky salsa on hand, just blend your chunky salsa until smooth.

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups panko breadcrumbs *

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. dried oregano or italian seasoning

*  Japanese panko crumbs can be found in the ethnic section at the grocery store.  Panko crumbs are much lighter than regular breadcrumbs and make a crunchier coating when baked.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place 1/4 cup butter in a 9 x 13 baking dish in the microwave and heat until butter is melted.  Set aside.

Cut Pepper Jack cheese into 6 equal pieces (measuring about 3/8″ x 4″).

Cut a horizontal slit into the side of each chicken breast – don’t cut all the way through.

Place one piece of cheese in the pocket of each chicken breast.

To secure the cheese in the pocket, use 2-3 wooden toothpicks.

In a shallow pan or plate, mix together the eggs, salsa and salt.

In a separate shallow pan, combine the panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, garlic salt, and oregano or italian seasoning.

Dip each chicken breast in the egg mixture to coat, then dip in the panko crumb mixture.

Place chicken in melted butter, turning to coat with butter.

Bake uncovered about 35 – 40 minutes.

Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole, salsa, sour cream.  Note:  We just preferred the guacamole.

FREEZE AHEAD

Omit the first step of preparing the melted butter in the pan until serving day.

Prepare chicken and then place breaded chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan.

Freeze for 1 hour.

Carefully wrap each chicken breast individually in plastic wrap and place together in freezer bag.

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