My first thought was, "How do I get jalapeño popper flavor, INSIDE a chicken breast?" This delivered on that. Smokey red jalapeños, goat cheese and cheddar make a FANTASTIC spicy filling for the chicken. Surround everything with bacon, and slow smoke it. OMG!
Start by prepping the Smoked Red Pepper Sauce:
- 8 fresh red jalapeños
- 1 white onion, cut into eighths
- 1 garlic bulb, top cut off
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbls butter
- 3 Tbls mayo
- salt and pepper
Pepare your smoker, and set it to cook around 275º. Toss jalapeños, onions and garlic bulb with the salt, thyme and olive oil. Place pepper mixture on the smoker, and smoke for one hour. Flip the peppers and onions, (not the garlic) and continue to smoke for another 30-45 minutes.
Remove from smoker and let rest until cool enough to handle. Cut off tops of peppers, and remove seeds. Reserve two of the peppers, and chop remaining peppers and onions. Squeeze the garlic cloves out and discard the skin.
Place chopped peppers, onions, and garlic into blender with chicken stock and puree. Add butter and mayo and blend until smooth. Add a little more chicken stock if needed to make a creamy sauce. Season with more salt and pepper.
For the stuffed bacon wrapped chicken:
- 2 large whole skinless chicken breast, butterflied and slightly pounded
- salt and pepper
- seasoned salt
- 5-6 strips of uncooked bacon, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and jack
- 2 Tbls cream cheese, softened
- 2 Tbls fresh goat cheese, softened
- 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 2 reserved smoked red jalapeños, diced
- 1 tsp hot sauce
Make the filling: Mix the cream cheese, goat cheese, shredded jack and cheddar, minced shallot, cracked pepper, hot sauce and diced red jalapeños together in a small bowl. Put aside, and lay out a sheet of aluminum foil.
Stretch and overlap the strips of bacon, about 5-6 halves and form a little bacon blanky. : ) Season both sides of the butterflied chicken breast, and lay it on top of the bacon. Add half of the cheese mixture, and spread it out over the chicken, leaving a one inch border. Use the aluminum foil as a helper to roll the chicken up and over on itself. Form a nice even roll, and let chill for about half an hour. Repeat the process with the rest of the ingredients. Let rolls rest, and tie each roll with kitchen twine. I used about 5-6 pieces of twine on each roll.
Smoke bacon wrapped chicken rolls on 275º smoker for an hour. Flip the rolls, and continue to smoke for about 30-45 minutes. Check for doneness, flip back over and smoke until they reach 165 degrees. Let rest for 20-30 minutes, tented in foil. Slice and serve over a drizzle of the pepper sauce, with some grilled veggies.