Friday, May 08, 2009

Death By Chicken

Here's a little something I served today that may very well send you to an early grave, but at least you will die happy. I think I finally perfected it this time; it was a serious crowd-pleaser for my party of nine at lunch.

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

Yield: 16-20 servings in two pans of 8-10 each (serve one, freeze one!)

Ingredients:

16-20 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (see note 1 below)
2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
40-50 slices of thick-sliced bacon
Johnny’s Season Salt
Black pepper
Chopped parsley (dried or fresh)
Chives (dried or fresh)

Instructions:

1. Place chicken breasts between layers of plastic wrap or in zipper bags with air removed, pound with mallet until flattened to approximately ¼ inch thickness.
2. While following instructions 3-5, begin to fry up the bacon, six to eight strips at a time. Do not cook until crisp—just until bacon is partially cooked and still bendable. Don’t fry up too much bacon at one time, so it doesn’t cool and become difficult to work with.
3. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
4. Spread with approximately 2 T. of cream cheese.
5. Sprinkle with parsley and chives.
6. Roll chicken breast up tightly and place, seam side down, atop two strips of bacon. Wrap bacon around chicken and secure with wooden toothpicks, then place in pan.
7. Lay any additional slices of bacon over the top of all the roll-ups.
8. Place small cubes of any additional cream cheese into crevices between roll-ups.
9. Cover and refrigerate overnight, if possible, to allow flavors to mix well.
10. Bake 45 minutes at 375, uncovered.
11. Cover with foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
12. Remove roll-ups from pans, remove toothpicks, and pile onto a platter to serve. (See note 2 below)


NOTES:
1. I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Costco, in twelve packs. Some of them are very big, so after I have pounded them flat, I cut the largest ones in half, ending up with 16-20 total servings. This dish is very filling, so really, no one will feel like their roll-up is too small.
2. Do not discard drippings and bits of cream cheese from pan. Add them to 2 cups of milk, ¾ cup of flour and ½ teaspoon of black pepper in a sauce pan. Wisk together vigorously and heat until thickened to make a sauce for pasta to serve on the side.

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