In reality, these are cornmeal encrusted chicken breasts with a jalapeño popper sauce, but who cares what they're called...this shit is amazing.
Fun story though. Kevin and I made this last summer after doing a wine tasting at Casa Larga, and after purchasing a bottle of lilac wine. And on a hot night we drank said wine and cooked this chicken. Which was delicious going down...
But not so much fun coming back up. Apparently, über sweet flowery wine and jalapeños and cheese do not mix well in my stomach, and I threw up everything I had eaten for dinner.
Moral of the story: learn how to pair wine with your food.
It took me a year to stop associating thoughts of this meal with a night spent on the bathroom floor...but I think it was worth the wait.
The sauce that goes with this chicken is soooo amazingly delicious. It literally takes your favorite appetizer and makes it into a meal.
A tasty, tasty meal.
You will need:
- 3 chicken breasts, cleaned and butterflied or pounded flat
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of cayenne
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 slices of bacon, chopped
- 3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces cream cheese (use low fat if you want)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
So first, fry the bacon up in a high-sided skillet. Remove the bacon, but keep the grease in the pan.
Crack your egg in a bowl, and on a large plate mix the cornmeal, chili powder, cumin, salt, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Dip each chicken breast in the egg first, and then press into the cornmeal to coat. Shallow fry them (NOT in the bacon skillet) until crisp and cooked through. Drain on paper towels.
Here are some little, slow-loading images of this meal being cooked. The light by the stove isn't great, so I'm not going to show you full size versions of these pics.
Now for the jalapeño popper sauce. Saute the jalapeños in the bacon grease skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened. Add chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir in chicken broth, and use the spoon to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to deglaze it. Bring it to a boil. Add cream cheese and stir until melted, and then add the shredded cheeses and reserved bacon.
Serve it with tons of sauce over a bed of mexican rice, and you've got a delicious meal! Breading the chicken in cornmeal is key, because it gives it a little more crunch than you would get with bread crumbs.
It's a fairly beige meal, but the flavor is anything but. Especially if you add way more jalapeños, spices (you can see all the red pepper flakes in the sauce), and some pepper jack cheese, like Kevin and I so rebelliously did.
And, speaking of Kevin and I...we ran a 5K a few weekends ago! Now, if you know me at all, you would know I am not a runner. Like, at all.
I pretty much hate it and I suck at it. But I've been doing it consistently for about a year, and figured, after reaching the 3.1 mile mark (the photo above marks that milestone. I alternated between laughing and crying), that I should at least do 1 5k. So I signed us both up for Vino and the Beast, held in the Seneca Wine Country. It was a race through a vineyard, with wine at the water stations, and a bunch of crazy obstacles. It was intense.
Don't believe that anyone could despise running and yet do it 3x a week? Here is my face as I'm about to cross the finish line. Look at Kevin's immaculate posture and form. I, on the other hand, was freaking exhausted and wanted to die. I had been through the gauntlet (literally. Look at the mud on my legs. I am soaked in this picture) and I just wanted to take a nap and cry.
But we did it! And the wine tasting afterwards almost made it worth it. I think if it was just the 5k, I would have done a lot better. Or if it was just the obstacles I would have really kicked ass.
But as scared and as miserable as I was, Kevin never left my side. Even though he could have finished 15 minutes faster than we ended up, he made sure I crossed the finish line with him. AND he wore the stupid costume I made for him, which goes to show you that he's a keeper 🙂
The above two photos are property of Tellier Studios, the people who photographed the race.
Recipe was adapted from Cassie Craves