Chicken cutlets stuffed and rolled with a jalapeno-cream-cheese-cheddar filling then coated in crispy Japanese panko breadcrumbs and baked until molten hot.
All the flavors I am obsessed with trapped inside juicy oven-fried chicken. There is nothing you won’t love. You don’t even need to like jalapeno poppers to like this chicken!
Crazy confession time. I never ate a true, actual jalapeno popper before, only lots of deconstructed ones. In my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Soup, Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole, Jalapeno Popper Chicken Empanadas and now these roll-ups. To say I’m slightly obsessed with combining those flavors with chicken is a slight understatement.
My fresh jalapenos were super hot. Burn-your-tongue-off hot. The hottest ones I ever tasted. I’ve had some that were so lacking in heat they were a disappointment. Start by mixing one pepper into the cream cheese and tasting it then add the second if needed.
To make up for these variances from pepper to pepper you can use a small can of chopped fire roasted jalapenos in their place and for a more subtle flavor use chopped green chiles.
If you feel intimidated by these then stop it. Right now. They are easy to make. You need to start with thin, skinny chicken cutlets. If your market doesn’t carry them you can buy chicken breasts and pound them thin with a meat mallet or a small frying pan.
Once you have a thin cutlet it’s as simple as slathering on the soft cream cheese mixture and rolling it up. A dip into flour, egg then breadcrumbs and a few toothpicks to secure it is all it takes to make the crunchy crust.
Twenty-five minutes in the oven and you will have some of the most delicious chicken you have ever tasted. In your life. It will only appear as if you slaved all afternoon to make them.
I didn’t add bacon. In hindsight, I should of. That salty bite can only make it better. If you like you can crumble up a few crispy cooked slices and mix it into the filling.
- 1 - 2 jalapeno peppers
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 - 3 strips bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- ¾ cup panko crumbs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 + ¼ pound chicken cutlets(4 -5 ) or boneless, skinless breasts (3 - 4)
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- Preheat the broiler. (Use gloves when handling the peppers and take precautions - don't rub eyes or skin after handling.) Place the peppers (1 for medium spicy hot or 2 for spicy hotter hot) on a small baking pan and place them under the broiler, cook until the skin is blackened turning with tongs to blacken all the sides.
- Once blackened put them in a bowl and cover with saran wrap (or place in a small paper and close) for 5 - 10 minutes then peel off the black skins, pull out the stems and seeds and rinse under water if needed to remove all the seeds.
- Mince the peppers and mix with the softened cream cheese, cheddar and bacon, if using.
- Set up a dredging station for the chicken. Beat the 2 eggs and milk together in a wide, shallow dish. Place the flour on a wide plate and on a separate plate mix half the breadcrumbs and half the panko together (add the remainder as needed).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and lightly grease or line with parchment a large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan.
- Pound the chicken cutlets or breasts out between plastic wrap with a meat mallet to an even ¼-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
- Working one at a time spread a generous layer of the cream cheese mixture over them starting at the smallest end and leaving a small border around the edges and a 1-inch border at the bigger end. Roll up the chicken from the end you started at.
- Holding the seam closed roll the chicken in flour, dip in the egg allowing excess to drip off and
- then coat with the panko crumbs using your hands to pat it on so all the sides are covered. Place on the baking sheet and secure the seam with toothpicks to hold it closed.
- Repeat until all the chicken is filled and rolled. Cook 22- 25 minutes until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 - 174 degrees F.
5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or slice lengthwise into 1-inch rolls. to set