Click here for a printable PDF recipe card Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken
First, a shout out to my friend, Amy Roy, for naming this recipe! It’s perfect!
So Hubby pulled out chicken breasts for supper and I’m thinking “What in the world am I going to doing with this tonight?? I don’t want plain grilled chicken!” Then I started thinking about this Jalapeno Popper Chicken by Elly says Opa! that I made a long time ago. Wow! You should really try this recipe! AMAZING!! I was trying to figure out a healthier alternative (for me this meant non-dairy and no breading) and suddenly all these wonderful stuffing ingredients popped into my head, so I ran to the store (not literally ;) )
And so the birth of Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken…
The great thing about this recipe is measurements really aren’t important!
Ingredients: 3 chicken breasts; 4 slices uncured bacon; 1 whole bulb of Roasted Garlic; 1 Roasted Jalapeno; artichoke hearts; smoky sun-dried tomatoes; Daiya cheddar-style cheese; olive oil; garlic powder; onion powder; salt; pepper.
First, you need to roast the garlic and the jalapeno pepper so check out How to Roast Garlic and How to Roast a Jalapeno Pepper if you need help. In this case you will just grill, not char, the jalapeno and you keep the skin on. After roasting the garlic and it has cooled, pull out all of the roasted garlic cloves. You’re going to use the WHOLE bulb! :)
I’d recommend that you DON’T skip the roasting step! Roasting completely changes the flavor and for the better.
How spicy this turns out depends on what you like. You can use the entire jalapeno, you can remove half of the seeds (that’s what I did), or you can remove all of the seeds so you still get the jalapeno flavor with a lot less spice.
Dice the jalapeno and mash the garlic cloves.
Cook your 4 slices of bacon then dice it.
I used jarred artichoke hearts. It was a 14 oz jar and I pulled out 12 pieces to chop. They are packed in water so you need to squeeze some of the water out of each one so that your stuffing isn’t watery.
Then chop the artichoke hearts.
When I went to the store I was looking for sun-dried tomatoes. They come in a jar (packed with oil or water) and there are also dried ones in packaging. When I saw the one that said “Smoky,” I thought “Yes! Perfect!.” I hope you can find these! When you open the bag you immediately catch the smell of chipotle. I LOVE chipotle! The flavor is not overwhelming, but it is powerful and perfect. That’s the first thing Hubby tasted when he took his first “blind” bite.
Now for the Daiya cheddar-style shreds. What is this exactly? Daiya makes dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free cheese that is plant-based. It melts like regular cheese and when melted I find it tastes like regular cheese, too. I’m not trying to sell you on this :) You can use regular cheddar cheese! I just wanted to give you a healthy, clean-eating, paleo-friendly option if you choose :) I used 3/4 cup of Daiya cheddar-style shreds.
Mix the the garlic, jalapenos, bacon, cheese, and artichoke hearts togethers.
From the fatter end of the chicken breast, carefully cut a deep pocket as far as you can without going through the chicken.
Divide your filling and start stuffing! I tried a spoon, but let’s be honest, you hand is the best utensil in the kitchen!
Now you need to secure these little babies! I was out of toothpicks (and they’re kind of small, anyway) but I had wooden skewers. So I broke the ends off of 3 of them
I found it easiest to just weave it up then back down.
Brush each side with olive oil and season both sides with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
They’re ready for the grill!
I grilled each side for about 7-8 minutes. Took them off the grill thinking they’re done. Um, no! The inside of the chicken wasn’t fully cooked and the cheese wasn’t even melted (I knew this because I cut one in half). I was so afraid to dry the chicken out and I thought it would have been done by that point. Note to self (and others), when chicken is stuffed it doesn’t cook as fast :)
This is what they looked like right off the grill…looked good right?!?! Hahaha!
First thought was “Crap! This is suppose to go on the blog! And I’ve ruined it!” Hahahaha! My mistake turned out to be a good thing. I put them in a casserole dish, covered it with aluminum foil, and baked them for 30 minutes at 375°. The end result…perfection! Moist, delicious, and most importantly fully cooked! :)
Click here for printable PDF recipe card Spicy Tuscan-stuffed Chicken
My biggest challenge would be to get Mr. Picky-Picky to try it. He was a good sport and tried a bite without knowing what was inside. He really liked it!! And the first thing he said was “Wow, that’s good! Did you put chipotle peppers in it?” That’s just my push to get you to find the smoky sun-dried tomatoes! They really add something to this dish.
I hope you enjoy this! It was fun creating something new :)
Need something to do with those leftover artichoke hearts?? Check out Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip (using leftovers)!
Spicy Tuscan-Stuff Chicken
3 Chicken breasts
1 Roasted jalapeno pepper1 Bulb of roasted garlic
4 Slices cooked bacon
~12 Smoky sun-dried tomatoes
~12 Artichoke heart halves
¾ cup Cheddar cheese (your preferred brand)
1. Mash roasted garlic cloves; Dice roasted jalapeno (remove as much seeds as you want for your level of spiciness); Squeeze water out of artichoke hearts then chop; Chop bacon & sun-dried tomatoes. Mix all these ingredients together.
2. From the fatter end of the chicken breast, cut a deep pocket as far as you can without cutting through the chicken. Divide the mixture equally and stuff the chicken. Secure with toothpicks. On both sides, brush with olive oil and season with above seasonings.
3. Grill for 7-8 minutes each side. Then place in casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 375° for 30 minutes.