Sunday, June 28, 2015

Pinterest Picks

If you use Pinterest a lot like I do, you've probably seen a picture with a recipe for "Cajun" Chicken with Pepper Jack and Spinach.  I'm not sure of the original source since it links back to so many different places.  But I thought I'd give it a try.  And why it's called "Cajun" is strange to me because the only thing I find Cajun about this is the spice used on the outside of the chicken.

I actually made this chicken twice.  The first time I followed the recipe almost exactly.  The one thing I left out was that there were bread crumbs on the outside of the chicken.  I was already concerned that the recipe would turn out dry because of the filling, so I left the bread crumbs out.  I also added bacon on the first try since it is one of the New Four Food Groups.  As I suspected, the filling was overbearing and way too dry.

So on my second attempt, I again left out the bread crumbs. I skipped the bacon since I was out at the time (gasp!).  But this time I added cream cheese to the filling.  It turned out great this time.  The filling wasn't dry and the chicken was perfect.  Enjoy!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces shredded Pepper Jack cheese
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
Cajun seasoning, to taste (I used about 2 T)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder

NOTE:  You will need an ovenproof thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees.  My chicken was done in about 40 minutes, but my oven is most likely not like yours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut pockets into each chicken breast but don't cut all the way through.  Generously season the inside and the outside of the chicken with the Cajun seasoning.  

Stir together the cream cheese, Pepper Jack cheese, spinach, garlic powder and onion powder.  Stuff the filling into each chicken breast.  Secure the outside edges with toothpicks.  Here's a picture I took of the first attempt at the chicken before I cooked it just so you get an idea of where the toothpicks go.  

Put the chicken on a sheet pan and sprinkle on a little more Cajun seasoning, if desired.  Bake the chicken for 40-45 minutes or until a thermometer registers at 165 in the chicken.

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