Jalapeño Popper Chicken

These were easy to make and super tasty. All the cream cheese oozing out of the chicken... mmm, mmm, mmm. Great idea to cook the Panko in oil first to keep it extra crispy.

1 c panko
4 tsp canola oil
4 tsp taco seasoning or mixture below*
2 eggs
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 c shredded 2% cheddar cheese
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
3 chicken breasts

* Make your own taco seasoning:
1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder, 1/8 tsp. onion powder, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp. oregano, 1/8 tsp. paprika, and salt and black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 and place an ovenproof rack onto a rimmed baking dish. Spray with cooking oil. In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the panko with the canola oil. Cook, stirring often, until the panko is golden and crispy. Place in a shallow bowl or dish. Add the taco seasoning and stir to combine.

In another shallow bowl or dish, lightly beat the eggs. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and jalapeños. I had to microwave mine for about 20 seconds to mix it. Using a small utility knife, cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast, or horizontally slice the chicken through the center, until it is almost butterflied. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper, and then divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between each chicken breast’s pocket. Use toothpicks to secure, if necessary.

Dip the chicken pieces one at a time first into the egg, and then into the panko mixture, making sure to coat the chicken completely. Place the chicken on the prepared baking rack and cook for about 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Original recipe found here

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