Smoked chicken breasts are good all on their own, however, if you want to try something different and really, really good, stuff them with a mixture of cream cheese and diced jalapeño wrapped in bacon to hold it all together. I've been making variations of these for ages, but I hear they are now called chicken bombs in some circles. Regardless of what you name them, it's a recipe designed to please everyone!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Brine Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: ~1.5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan
What You'll Need
IMG 0244Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Step 1: Brine (optional)

I always recommend brining chicken and, all poultry as far as that goes, but just know that if you are short on time or decide to make this recipe at the spur of the moment, it will not ruin the recipe if you skip brining it.

Brining adds moisture and flavor to the inside of the meat to help ensure that it ends up as juicy, tender and flavorful as it can be.

To brine the chicken breasts make a solution of:

  • 1 quart of cold water
  • ¼ cup of coarse kosher salt (Morton's blue box)
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar

Stir well until everything is dissolved.

Place the chicken breasts into a zip top bag or other plastic or glass container and pour the brine over the chicken to cover. Place in the fridge for about 2 hours to brine.

Once the brining is complete, remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.

Step 2: Make the Cream Cheese/Jalapeño Mixture

This step can be completed while the chicken is brining (if you opt to brine).

Leave the cream cheese out on the table for about an hour to soften.

Place a block of cream cheese or about 8 oz into a small to medium sized mixing bowl.

Deseed, clean and dice 2-3 jalapeño peppers, depending on how well you like jalapeño and how spicy the jalapeños are.

IMG 7930 1

I usually taste of a little piece to get a feel for the heat level of the peppers (they tend to vary greatly).

Tip: soak the cleaned, deseeded peppers in a bowl of sprite to remove some of the heat. The longer you soak them, the more mild they will become. I usually start with about an hour and go from there.

Note: Another option is to use poblano peppers which contain a lot of flavor but without the heat.

Put the diced peppers into the bowl with the cream cheese and stir to combine.

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Step 3: Season and Stuff the Chicken Breasts

Brush a little olive oil onto the chicken breasts, then season the top side with Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).

IMG 7939

Add a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese/jalapeno mixture on top of the rub. Spread the rub over half of the chicken breast.

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Fold the chicken over on top of itself. To make it easier to fold, you can make a shallow cut at about the halfway point of the chicken breast widthwise.

IMG 7944 1

Once the chicken is folded coat the entire outside of the chicken breast with a little olive oil and season generously with Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)

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Step 4: Wrap with Bacon

Lay 2 thin slices of bacon across the stuffed chicken breast.

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Lift the chicken up and hold it with one hand while you wrap the bacon “artistically” around the chicken.

IMG 7951

It can be as “purdy” or haphazard as you like.. no one's judging the wrap 😉

Step 5: Smoke Cook the Chicken

Place the stuffed chicken on a pan/rack, Weber grill pancooling rack or something similar to make it easy to carry them out to the smoker.

IMG 7955

Set up your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at around 225- 240°F if possible.

If your smoker has a water pan, it's a good idea to use it.

I used pecan but you can use any smoking wood that you desire and have available.

Once the smoker is ready, place the stuffed chicken directly on the smoker grate and insert a probe from a digital probe meat thermometer (if you have one) so you will know the exact time it is finished. I use the Smoke by ThermoWorks most often because it works so well and because it has excellent range (more than 300 feet).

You can also use a super fast meat thermometer such as the Thermapen.

It should take around 1.5 hours to finish cooking and I recommend applying smoke for at least an hour.

Step 6: Serve

When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

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Jeff’s Smoking Meat Books
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Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbecue – The book is full of recipes and contains tons of helpful information as well. Some have even said that “no smoker should be without this book”!

With more than 1000 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, it comes highly recommended and is a Bestseller in Barbecuing & Grilling books on Amazon.

AmazonBarnes & Noble | German Edition

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Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.

It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.

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Printable Recipe

2015 IMG 7976
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Chicken Bombs (Cream Cheese & Jalapeño Stuffed Chicken Breast)

Smoked chicken breasts are good all on their own however, if you want to try something different and really, really good, stuff them with a mixture of cream cheese and diced jalapeño wrapped in bacon to hold it all together, add a lot of great flavor and to keep the meat moist in the absence of the skin.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 4 -6

Ingredients

  • 4-6 chicken breasts
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 2 slices of thin bacon per piece of chicken
  • Jeff's original rub recipe

Instructions

Step 1: Brine (optional)

  • To brine the chicken breasts make a solution of: 1 quart of cold water, ¼ cup of coarse kosher salt and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
  • Stir well until everything is dissolved.
  • Place the chicken breasts into a zip top bag or other plastic or glass container and pour the brine over the chicken to cover. Place in the fridge for about 2 hours to brine.
  • Once the brining is complete, remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.

Step 2: Make the Cream Cheese/Jalapeño Mixture

  • Leave the cream cheese out on the table for about an hour to soften.
  • Place a block of cream cheese or about 8 oz into a small to medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Deseed, clean and dice 2-3 jalapeño peppers depending on how well you like jalapeño and how spicy the jalapeños are.
  • Put the diced peppers into the bowl with the cream cheese and stir to combine.

Step 3: Season and Stuff the Chicken Breasts

  • Brush a little olive oil onto the chicken breasts then season the top side with Jeff's original rub.
  • Add a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese/jalapeno mixture on top of the rub.
  • Fold the chicken over on top of itself. To make it easier to fold, you can make a shallow cut at about the halfway point of the chicken breast widthwise.
  • Once the chicken is folded coat the entire outside of the chicken breast with a little olive oil and season generously with Jeff's original rub.

Step 4: Wrap with Bacon

  • Lay 2 thin slices of bacon across the stuffed chicken breast.
  • Lift the chicken up and hold it with one hand while you wrap the bacon "artistically" around the chicken.

Step 5: Smoke Cook the Chicken

  • Place the stuffed chicken on a Bradley rack, cookie sheet or something similar to make it easy to carry them out to the smoker.
  • Set up your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at around 240°F if possible.
  • If your smoker has a water pan, it's a good idea to use it.
  • I used pecan but you can use any smoking wood that you desire and have available.
  • Once the smoker is ready, place the stuffed chicken directly on the smoker grate and insert a probe from a digital probe meat thermometer (if you have one) so you will know the exact time it is finished.
  • You can also use a super fast meat thermometer such as the Thermapen but this requires you to open the door several times and you stand the chance of overcooking the chicken if it happens to get done sooner than you expect.

Step 6: Serve

  • When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.