Parmesan Baked Chicken and Bacon Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese

This dinner meal was delicious.  I got the idea from's Garlic Chicken recipe.  I served it with steamed broccoli and macaroni and cheese with a spin.  Every item was quite flavorful and loved by all.  My local grocery store had some massive sized chicken breast...but I cut them in half diagonally so that they could cook evenly and still look like one piece of a chicken breast. For the bread crumbs I used regular Italian bread crumbs, you can also use panko, which is a Japanese style bread crumbs with only the white part of the bread, it give the meat a more crunchy texture, but I prefer this bread crumb when baking white fishes.  Even though it's not int he recipe, I do like to season the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, and other seasonings.  Also, I like my food spicy, so I do put a 1/4 tsp of cayenne powder into the chicken seasoning mix.  And if you like, you can also marinate yur chicken ahead of time, this would be a great time to marinate with Italian dressing as well, but it is optional. Plus when breading the chicken, I only breaded the top layer.  From experience in the past, the bottom side of the meats I would back would become darker and quicker, so I eliminated breading the whole meat now, which makes no difference in texture when eating it.  Also, this was so good and so easy, I decided to do the breading process with my tilapia a couple days later, but with no Parmesan cheese and I used Old Bay Seasoning for the seasoning of the fish.  I am not and my familiar are not huge fans of Tilapia, but cooking it this way, was a great way and everyone loved it.

Parmesan Baked Chicken
Serves 4

  • 4 skinless chicken breast
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Remove any fat from the chicken and/or cut them in half if it is bigger than your hand.
  • Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and with your favorite spices (such as: onion, garlic, chili or cayenne powder)
  • In a medium sized bowl gently melt the butter and garlic in the microwave (usually 10-15 minutes, do not allow to steam or boil in the microwave).
  •  In another medium sized bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese.
  • Dip one side of the (the round side, not the flat side of the meat) chicken breast into the garlic butter mixture, then lay the chicken breast in the bread crumbs mixture.
  • Place all the breaded chicken breast in a shallow greased or oil sprayed baking dish. 

 Yes I said jalapenos, but it is kid friendly when you remove the seeds form the jalapeno.  And I highly suggest washing your hands after dealing with jalapenos, and if you can wear gloves.  From experience, I had burned my cheeks and lips due to not washing my hands right away. Like always you can add your favorite spices where I put salt and pepper (spices such as garlic powder and onion powder, would be a good addition here).  Plus you notice there is no oil in this recipe, because the bacon strips will create enough oil to saute the vegetables.  And speaking of vegetables, this would be a great way to add broccoli or spinach to your macaroni and cheese.  In addition, the reason why I don't rinse off the starch from the macaroni pasta is because this can help the thickening process when making this dish. 

Bacon Jalapeno Macaroni and Cheese
Seves 6 to 8

  • 1 pound cooked shells pasta (do not rinse off the starch)
  • 6 ea strips of raw bacon (I used Oscar Myers Thick Sliced Bacon, so if you use thin bacon, you might want to add two more strips)
  • 2 ea jalapenos, cut in half vertically and sliced into thin strips horizontally (optional to add seeds...seeds make it spicier)
  • 1 medium onion, small chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 cups cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1.  In a large pot, sweat the bacon and allow to brown.
  2. Add the jalapenos, onion and garlic and saute until tender.
  3. Lower the heat and add the heavy cream while stiring the vegetable mixture.
  4. Once the heavy cream is hot to touch (no boiling)
  5. Add the cheddar cheese lettle by little and stir.
  6. Allow the cheese to melt on low-medium heat (do not allow the heavy cream cheese mixture to boil, you might break the cheese sauce).
  7. Add the pasta and season,   Mix well and taste for balanced seasoning.  Serve immediately.

 In addition, I went ahead and served the dish with steamed broccoli tossed in melted garlic butter and salt and pepper.  Simple, quick and delicious :)

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