They say that everything’s better with bacon and I can’t help but agree. For today’s dinner, I decided to make cream-cheese filled bacon-wrapped chicken. Sadly, I cannot display photos of the dish itself because we were too hungry that as soon as it was cooked and placed on the table, everyone took a piece off the platter and … nibble, bite, chew, savor, swallow, yum! It was gone. 😀
For this post, I will use photos from the web but as soon as I am able to do this dish again I will make sure to take photos and post it.
Some things you need to know about chicken
There are two kinds of meat on a chicken – the dark meat and white meat. In a nutshell white meat is made up of the entire torso of the chicken while dark meat is the thighs, legs, and wings.
- White meat is meatier (there is more of it) and is often dry which is why it is what is usually used in making chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, etc.
- Dark meat is juicier (fatter) and softer so people who are counting calories tend not to get this. However, it is for that reason that dark meat tastes yummier!
What you need to know about bacon
It’s delicious. Nuff said. 😀
There are many brands selling bacon to be found in the supermarket but my favorites are Purefoods and it’s sister brand, Vida.
- Purefoods bacon comes in many variants – classic honey-cured, maple, thick slice, barbeque, and honey roast.
- Vida comes in only 1 variant … just bacon 😀
Kitchen tools I used
- 2 chopping boards
- large plastic container
- mallet or a pestle (if you don’t have a mallet)
Ingredients I used for this recipe
- chicken thigh fillet
- Vida bacon – you will understand in a bit why I chose to use this one, besides for its price. 🙂
- Hunt’s barbeque sauce – you can use any old barbeque sauce. This just happened to be the one we had available.
- Arla cream cheese, any variant – my go-to brands are usually Philadelphia cream cheese and Emborg but I saw this one and got curious because it is less expensive. FYI, it’s pretty good, too!.
- salt and pepper
You can use Purefoods barbeque flavored thick cut bacon if you like to save on steps. 😀
Procedure: what I did to put this dish together
I usually like preparing early so that when it is almost time to eat all I need to do is pop the food in the oven, in the fryer, on the pan, or pot. Today was no different – I prepared 3 hours ahead. 😀
- Layout the bacon on a chopping board or large plastic container without overlapping and pour some barbeque sauce on it (not too much!) and smear. Some of the sauce will end up on the board or container, that’s ok. Flip the bacon and smear the other side as well and then just let it sit.
- Take your chicken thigh fillet, lay it out as flat as you can on a chopping board, and then pound it flat (using a mallet or pestle) until it is almost evenly about 1/2 inch thick. If it came out thinner than that, it’s ok, just make sure it is even. Some would recommend putting the chicken in a clear plastic bag or cling wrap first. This will help in preserving the juices and will avoid splashes.
- Layout all the chicken pieces you just pounded on your chopping board. Take some salt and sprinkle in on the chicken.
- Take your pepper and do the same amount of pepper to use really depends on your preference and the preference of the people who will eat it. But, if I may suggest, don’t be heavy-handed with the seasonings.
- Note: There is no need to rub the salt and pepper in, just let it sit.
- Flip the chicken pieces and repeat the salt and pepper.
- On another chopping board take one of the bacon strips that you marinated in barbeque sauce and lay it flat.
- Take one chicken thigh fillet and put it on top of the bacon starting from one end with the majority of the bacon uncovered by chicken.
- Place 1 tsp. of cream cheese and plop it down on top of the chicken and smear it on as flat as you can concentrating on the center part of the chicken. Once cooked the flavor of the cream cheese will infuse with the chicken and you won’t actually see it on the final product. 🙂
- Starting at the end where the chicken is starting rolling as tightly as you can without breaking the bacon and making the chicken tumble. Your goal is to have a rollup that has bacon inside and out and to make sure the cream cheese will not escape the chicken when you cook it.
- Once you reach the end, take a toothpick and poke it through to secure the roll then transfer your finished product into a container, possibly the one where the bacon is marinating.
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining pieces. Once done, cover the rolls and place them in the refrigerator to “set”. Actually, we are just allowing the flavors we added to everything to seep in. At a minimum, I’d say 30 minutes.
How to cook it is up to you. You can pan-fry, deep-fry, air-fry, or bake. The cooking time will depend on how thick your chicken is. I opted to use the air fryer (in an attempt to be healthier, hehehe) so that I do not use up so much oil and to keep the cream cheese in the chicken.
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes.
- Place a few pieces in the air fryer without crowding (about 4 to 5 pieces). Set the temperature to 180 degrees and cook for 20 minutes.
- Ding! Place your cream cheese-filled bacon-wrapped chicken on a platter and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
Serve alone or with a dipping sauce of your choice! One roll-up is pretty big and is good for 1 serving per person. For the growing boys and hungry adults, you may need 2 of these. 😀
Cooked properly the bacon will be warm and crispy and the chicken will be soft and juicy and infused with the flavor of the cream cheese. FYI, I got rave reviews about this from my family last night. 😀 Try making it yourself and let me know what you think.