Celebrating the US and Canadian release of my cookbook by turning a party food favourite into dinner! This is jalapeño poppers, stuffed inside chicken. Warm, cheesy, spicy. Fabulous, easy way to make chicken breast a whole lot more exciting.
US & Canada cookbook release day! 🇺🇸🇨🇦
YES, the day has finally arrived – my cookbook hits the stores across the US and Canada!!! For those of you who pre-ordered, you get to enjoy the luxury of Dinner being delivered right to your doorstep. I can’t wait to hear and see what you make first (tag me on Instagram), what you think of the recipes, my photos and whether there is too much or too little Dozer & cheese throughout the book. Drop your thoughts in today’s recipe, I want to know!
Let’s celebrate: Jalapeño popper stuffed chicken!
I wanted to share something celebratory to mark the occasion but it didn’t feel sensible to post party food on a Wednesday. So instead, I did the next best thing – a recipe that turns a party food favourite into dinner. 😂 Introducing: Jalapeño popper stuffed chicken!
To those who are unfamiliar with the wonderful world of jalapeño poppers, let me describe it to you. You basically take a jalapeño, stuff it with a flavoured cream cheese, then either crumb and fry it or (for those trying to take the high road), bake it. In short – they are spicy, cheesy, warm little bundles of goodness. An all-rounder appetiser favourite and especially in high demand on game day!
So today, we’re taking everything we love about jalapeño poppers and stuffing it inside chicken breast to turn it into dinner. It’s like chicken breast with an oozy cheesy sauce with a little warm buzz from the jalapeño. SO GOOD!
What you need for jalapeño popper stuffed chicken
Not that many ingredients!
Jalapeños – You will need 2 whole jalapeños to get good jalapeño flavour in the filling and a warm buzz. The jalapeño is spicier when raw than it is once cooked in this dish. This is because the spiciness in the jalapeño spreads throughout the filling as it bakes which reduces the spiciness of the jalapeño itself.
For a non-spicy option use green capsicum/bell pepper instead. Do the best you can to finely mince it like I do the jalapeño.
Cream cheese – This acts as the binder and is our shortcut ingredient for the stuffing. We only need 60g/2oz which is about 1/4 of a standard 250g/8oz block so you can make this recipe 4 times! (You’ll want to 😊)
Cheeses – Mozzarella for cheesy ooze and parmesan for salt + flavour. Feel free to substitute the mozzarella for another type of melty cheese.
Garlic powder – For earthy garlic flavour. Substitute with fresh garlic.
The seasoned chicken
Just a touch of paprika is all we use to flavour the chicken. We really don’t need much because the jalapeño popper filling does the heavy lifting in this dish!
How to make jalapeño popper stuffed chicken
Don’t fret about the stuffing and sealing part. Oozage is good. In fact, the melty bits with the crispy edges in the pan are the best part!
Mix the filling ingredients together. It should be creamy and stuff-able.
Cut a pocket in each chicken breast. I find the easiest way to do this is to press down on the breast with the palm of your hand to tighten the flesh so it’s easier to cut. Then cut as though you are cutting them into 2 thin steaks, except don’t cut all the way through.
TIP: Leave the smooth edge intact, cut through the other edge. Looks neater and holds the filling in better.
Did you stuff up the pocket? I’ve stuffed it up plenty of times! Don’t fret, just use toothpicks to seal tears on the base/surface/sides. And don’t worry about filling oozing out into the pan when it bakes. There’s always some ooze, it never stays in completely, it’s just a question of how much oozes. If you have a lots of ooze, just scoop it up and put it on your chicken. (Also, I promise to try very hard not to use the word “ooze” again for the rest of this post!).
Stuff the chicken breast with the filling. Push it all the way in – I use my hands.
Seal using toothpicks as best you can. I usually use 3 per breast.
Got filling bursting out through the seams? LUCKY YOU! Imagine it when it’s all melty in the pan and crispy golden edges.
Season the chicken breast with the paprika and salt. Sprinkle on each side.
Sear the chicken breast in an oven-proof skillet for 2 minutes on each side until golden. They will not colour any more in the oven so get a nice colour on them.
Bake for 15 minutes in an 180°C/350°F (160°C fan) oven or until the internal temperature is 67°C/155°F (this is just fully cooked, which means optimum juiciness for breast).
Rest for 5 minutes before eating. Resting is important as it allows the chicken juices to become reabsorbed into the meat fibres. If you don’t rest, the chicken juices will run out onto your plate when you cut into the meat, instead of staying in the chicken flesh and ending up in your mouth!
The jalapeño stuffed chicken breast is pictured with a handful of rocket/arugula and cherry tomatoes tossed with my Everyday Salad Dressing. Because I was so caught up making sure I captured the perfect cheese ooze I forgot to prepare sides for the photo!
If I had been more prepared, I probably would have added cauliflower mash or mashed potato on the side along with simple garlic green beans. A seasoned butter rice would also be a great starch option and for many more salad/vegetable sides, head here and browse my vegetable!
But what do you think? What would you serve it with? Bread for mopping, pasta, rice, beans? Love reading your ideas. – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Jalapeño popper stuffed chicken
- 2 x 220g/7oz chicken breast, skinless, boneless
- 1/4 tsp cooking/kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or ordinary paprika)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Jalapeño Popper Stuffing :
- 60g/ 2 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese , shredded (or other cheese)
- 1/4 cup parmesan , finely shredded
- 2 jalapeños , deseeded and finely diced (Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cooking / kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C fan).
- Cut pockets into each chicken breast (Note 2), taking care not to cut all the way through. Cut on the side with the fold in the meat, to keep the smooth side intact.
- Stuffing – Microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds to soften. Mix together with remaining jalapeño popper stuffing ingredients.
- Stuff & seal – Stuff inside the chicken pockets, stuffing it all the way in! Then seal each chicken with 2 or 3 toothpicks. If some stuffing is oozing out, that’s a bonus – it’s the best part when it crisps in the pan! Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the paprika and salt.
- Sear – Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Place the breast smooth-side down, sear for 2 minutes until golden (it won't colour more in the oven). Flip and sear the other side for another 2 minutes.
- Bake 15 min – Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 67°C/155°F.
- Rest and serve – Remove the chicken to a plate and rest for 5 minutes, then serve!
My other stuffed chicken
I’m surprised I only have these – I was sure I had more!
Life of Dozer
My publisher sent me the most gigantic bunch of flowers I’ve ever seen to celebrate the US/Can publication of my cookbook! Dozer did a thorough check to see if there was anything in there for him.