WOW, you guys, it’s been a while since I’ve done this! This recipe was worth a quick blog post, based on the overwhelming amount of positive messages I received after sharing on my Instagram story. This jalapeño popper hassleback chicken was insanely easy to make and, while indulgent, is Keto-friendly (if you’re into that) and gluten-free. It can also be sugar-free… if you buy sugar-free bacon. I threw that last sentence in there as a way to make us feel better about all the cheesy, bacon-y goodness.
For those wondering what ‘hassleback’ is, it’s a cooking method where chicken, potatoes or other items are sliced 3/4 of the way through in even layers, then stuffed or topped with different ingredients. You’ve probably seen or heard of hassleback potatoes but this week, for some reason, chicken popped into my head.
- Be gentle with your breasts. Cheeky, I know, but important. When creating the ‘hassleback’ slices, it’s easy to get carried away and cut through the chicken, potatoes or whatever you’re cutting entirely. Have self-restraint and avoid doing that. I once saw someone use a chopped stick to place along side the chicken breast while cutting – to stop their knife from slicing all the way through. It’s a great thought but not totally necessary – just be careful!
- Use a piping bag for your cheese filling. You can use a spoon to wedge the cream cheese/cheddar cheese mixture into the hassleback slices but it’s worth the extra step to pop the filling into a large Ziplock bag, cut one of the tips and pipe it in. It was less messy and much easier to evenly distribute.
- If you can’t handle the heat… cut out the seeds. We like spicy food in our house so we left the jalapeño seeds in-tact. However, if you like a little less spice, simply remove the seeds from the jalapeño before adding to the dish. Also, something I constantly need to remind myself when cooking with spicy peppers, do not touch your eyes until your hands are thoroughly washed.
*Warning: Graphic photos of raw chicken below…