Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Baked Chicken

Slightly adapted from the sweet Cassie Craves

4 ounces light cream cheese (I'm a liar, I used regular)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
 3-4 large jalapeno peppers, seeded, a couple sliced in half and 1 for diced up
4 strips bacon, cooked and diced, OR diced and cooked :)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (mine were huge)
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat your oven, 350 worked for me.

I de-seeded and sliced my jalapenos in half (length wise) and blanched them for a few minutes, just to insure they would be cooked inside the chicken to the tenderness I prefer. You could skip this step I suppose. I've never made it using the raw jalapeno, so I'm not sure if it cooks to "my preference" of tender or not. (scratching head)

Cut a pocket horizontally through the thickest side of each chicken breast and fill with 1/3 (or a hunk, in my case) of the cream cheese.

Place 2 of your halved jalapeno slices inside your bird,  atop of your cream cheese.

 I had the urge to sprinkle some lemon-pepper seasoning on top of the stuffed breast, so I did. Go ahead and do it. Trust me.

I used tooth picks to "zip up" the opened edges of the chicken.  You might want to too,  don't want any of that cream cheese running away!

 Put the stuffed chicken breast on a lightly greased dish, poke it in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.

In the mean time, I diced up and fried my bacon, drained it on a paper towel (because that makes it healthier, right?)

At this point, I grabbed my bag of pre-shredded cheese out of the fridge, diced up the other portion of jalapeno left after stuffing and tried real hard to not sneak a lil' piece of the crispy-golden-fried-bacon-bits staring at me. (epic fail, fyi)

So, when the buzzer goes off,  toss on some cheese, more than you think you should, the balancing act is iffy here. It kept falling off of my shrunken chicken, I kept piling it on. It worked out o.k. Toss on some of your bacon bits (what's left) and  diced jalapeno.

Back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

The sugar from the cream cheese sweetened the chicken and married so well with the smokiness from the bacon and the mild kick from the peppers. The cheese, well, it's speaks for itself.  It made my palate giddy and my tummy happy.  I hope you experience a similar moment. ENJOY!

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