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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.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Jeff Phillips

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.