Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reverse Chile Relleno Chicken

I love a good breaded & baked chicken. My first breaded & baked chicken was from my childhood and it involved stuffing chicken with bell peppers and cheese and breading & baking. Unfortunately, my siblings and I didn't like bell peppers when we were young (silly kids) and so we just got cheese stuffed chicken and then, eventually, just breaded chicken. I still loved it, and over the years, have perfected it into one of my favorite meals. I find that seasoning the chicken before coating in the egg and bread crumbs really seals in the flavor, and spraying with a little cooking spray at the end of cooking really crisps up the final product. Recently, I've revived the childhood original as a variation on the Mexican dish, Chiles Rellenos. I found that by stuffing the chicken with Anaheim chiles and Mexican Cheese before breading & baking, I was able to capture all the yummy flavors of a Chile Relleno without all the fat of the deep fried goodness of the real thing. The addition of the Mexican spices (sealed in by the egg) was the last step and so, tonight, the dish was perfected. This was so good, and another tribute to my patient stepmom who had to cook for us picky kids.

Reverse Chile Relleno Chicken
2 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 anaheim chile pepper, julienned
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican Cheese blend
1 egg, beaten in a shallow dish
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs in shallow dish
1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder, dry oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
Cooking Spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert sharp knife into the middle of the thickest part of each chicken breast. Cut an even pocket into the breast, keeping the opening as small as possible. Sprinkle each breast with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and cumin. Stuff each breast first with julienned strips of pepper, then with about a 1/4 cup of cheese (or as much as your little pocket will fit). Seal securely with toothpicks. Coat chicken in egg and then in bread crumbs. Place in shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove and spray the top of the chicken breasts lightly with cooking spray. Cook for 10 minutes more. Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition Info: 550.1 Calories, Fat: 12.9g (4.3 Sat, .8 Poly, 1.5 Mono), Carbs: 31.5g, Fiber: 1.6g

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