Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast

We all know how boring, bland, and dry plain boneless skinless chicken breast can  be.  Especially if it's been sitting in your freezer for awhile.  But, it's nothing some bacon can't fix!  Many recipes call for first pounding out your chicken, and rolling up some kind of elaborate stuffing into it- smoked gouda, swiss cheese, herbs, all kinds of things.  By all means, if you have the extra time and ingredients, go for it.  But if you're looking for a quick and budget friendly meal, this version is it!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast (Serves 2)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry
1 tbsp mayo
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
5-6 slices of bacon, depending on how big the breasts are

Preheat your oven to 365.  In a foil lined baking dish, spray a little cooking spray to ensure nothing sticks.  Mix mayo and dijon in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Slather may mixture onto chicken breasts liberally.  This will keep them moist and flavorful.  On a clean surface, lay your bacon strips down horizontally, then put your chicken breast down over them perpendicular to the bacon.  Wrap the strips around the chicken breast.  You don't really need to put toothpicks through them to keep them in place, but if you want to, go ahead.  Repeat for second chicken breast, or however many you're doing.  Now, I would not recommend using turkey bacon, as there is really not enough fat for them to crisp up nicely, and you'll end up with something more like smoked turkey wrapped chicken, which is fine, but not really what we're going for.  If that's all you have on hand, you could try brushing some EVOO or butter over the turkey bacon to help it crisp up in the oven.  Bake chicken breasts for 30 minutes or until the bacon is starting to brown.  Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.  Served with some kale chips and salad, this was Wednesday night's dinner in a flash.  Best of all, clean up is easy- just remove the foil and you're done!

Bacon is sure getting ample time in the spotlight these days.  I'd say we are experiencing full-on bacon fanaticism.  Don't get me wrong, I love bacon, but people are really going all out nuts.  One awesome result from the bacon craze is that people are really starting to seek out sustainably raised, organically fed heritage pigs, and going back to nose-to-tail eating.  Utilizing every ounce of protein and fat from the animal humanly possible.  And why not?  If you have to kill an animal for food, do it with honor and respect for the animal, and use every bit of it you can. 

What are your favorite bacon recipes?  Bacon pancakes?  Bacon chocolate-chip cookies?  Bacon milkshakes?  I just recently made some egg muffins with bacon too.  Share your fave bacon recipes! 

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