Inspired by the beloved flavors of jalapeno poppers, these creamy stuffed chicken breasts are wrapped in bacon and grilled. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

A fair question: who doesn't like jalapeno poppers? With that in mind, this dynamite chicken recipe—part of a week-long series on fun ways to stuff chicken breast—offers a drool-worthy alternative to the average, grilled bird. The chicken is filled with a cream cheese and sour cream mix that's specked with roasted jalapeños, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Then, it's wrapped in bacon and grilled over indirect heat for a smoky finish.


Stuffing chicken breast isn't tricky, but you do need to take precautions so the filling doesn't ooze out. The most effective technique involves butterflying the meat by cutting it nearly—but not all the way—in half, so that it opens like a book.

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Then I pound it between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness and trim the edges to create an even rectangle.


Next, I spoon and spread 2 tablespoons of the filling on top, leaving a perimeter on all sides.


Finally, I roll it lengthwise, wrap it in bacon, and secure the meat at 3/4-inch intervals using kitchen twine, starting 1/4-inch from the edge. Toothpicks just don't keep the filling in place, so avoid the temptation to use them instead.


Because bacon has a real tendency to flare up, it's important to cook the parcels over indirect heat, with a drip pan underneath. A charcoal grill certainly lends more flavor, though I found using my gas grill makes it easier to control the heat. You're trying to cook the meat somewhat slowly so the bacon browns and crisps without burning at the same time the meat cooks through. Then, while you're watching attentively, give it a final sear over direct heat so the bacon fully crisps.

I like to serve the chicken parcels with extra jalapeño-cream stuffing on the side for dipping.


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