Cream Cheese Bacon Stuffed Chicken – 4 stars

If you’re looking for a simple recipe that looks elegant to serve at your next dinner party, consider this recipe.  It’s ridiculously simple to put together — if you have everything prepped, you’ll spend no more than 15 minutes assembling this dish before popping it into the oven.  I love recipes like this.  People think I’m a fancy gourmet chef who has spent hours slaving in the kitchen for them.  Joy for the illusion of elegance.

Anyway…About this recipe…It was my first time working with puff pastry, and I learned that puff pastry isn’t that challenging to work with at all.  The only trick is allowing enough time for the puff pastry to thaw completely (close to an hour for me).  Then, make sure to work with the pastry semi-quickly so it doesn’t get too doughy on you.  I had 3 chicken breasts with a combined weight of around 2 lbs.  I cut each breast into two, and used four pieces for the recipe.  The pastry-chicken ratio was perfect, but the portion sizes are deceivingly large.  Consequently, you don’t need to serve this with bread on the side, and you get away with small portions for your side dishes and dessert.  Slicing a small opening on the top of the breast as the original recipe stated worked alright.  However, I loved the filling, so next time, I’ll slice the chicken in the middle instead, and stuff a lot of filling there.  I used turkey bacon and reduced fat cream cheese, but it would be equally (or more!) tasty with regular bacon and regular cream cheese.

The only downside to this recipe is that the chicken itself isn’t that tasty, so if you don’t have enough of the cream cheese mixture, the dish is somewhat bland.  This could probably be fixed by seasoning the chicken itself with salt and pepper, instead of mixing the salt and pepper into the filling.

Although puff pastry is a bit expensive (to the poor college student) at $4.50 for two sheets, I’m adding this recipe to my dinner party rotation.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, .25 – .33 lbs each
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
4-6 oz cream cheese, softened
3-4 pieces (turkey or regular) bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 tsp parsely flakes or fresh parsley
1 green onion, chopped — both the green and white parts
1 large egg
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, bacon, green onion, salt, pepper, and parsley
  2. Cut each chicken breast almost in half.  (To do this, place your non-knife hand on top of the chicken, and make a slit parallel to the counter, in the middle of the chicken.)
  3. Fill each opening with 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture
  4. Cut both puff pastry sheets in half
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg
  6. Line a 9×13 dish with aluminum foil
  7. To assemble, place one chicken breast in the center of one half puff pastry sheet.  Brush egg along the borders of the puff pastry.  Fold the puff pastry to completely enclose the chicken.  Place the seam side of the package on the baking dish, and brush the top of the puff pastry with the egg
  8. Bake at 400 for 35-38 minutes
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