We were recently treated to a fantastic night out and have a huge food debt to repay. After stuffing ourselves silly at a Brazilian rodizio, we got the idea to whip up a dinner of bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken to show appreciation for our hosts.
After assembling these little bacon slinky logs, chilling them helps keep the filling together for barbecuing.
Once the logs have cooled, they look lovely sliced into rounds. Perfect finger food for summer patio cocktail parties, tasty comfort in the winter months.
The filling itself is open to all sorts of tweaks. Roasted vegetables, chopped nuts, herbs — all are good here.
An ’80s trifecta of pesto/sun-dried tomatoes/feta or lemon zest would be a dreamy filling.
As would a Greek spinoff of feta, oregano, lemon, chopped spinach and green onion.
BARBECUED BACON-WRAPPED CHICKEN THINGS
Recipe: Julie Zwillich, Summer’s Best
8 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
8 ounces cream cheese or goat cheese softened (250 grams)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
24 slices bacon
Combine cream cheese and onion.
Butterfly chicken breasts from the thinnest edge towards the thickest (thick edge will be the middle when it is opened). Working one piece at a time, open breast on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4″ (6 millimetres) thickness with a mallet or rolling pin.
Spread an equal amount of cream cheese mixture evenly over the 8 breasts. Roll up the chicken enclosing the cheese completely. Wrap 1 strip of bacon, end to end around chicken, stretching it slightly. Add a second piece of bacon, wrapped to cover any exposed chicken. If necessary, continue wrapping with bacon until most of the chicken is covered. Secure with toothpicks. Chill several hours or overnight.
Cover grill with sheet of aluminum foil to help prevent flare-ups. Preheat to high. Place chicken on the foil. Reduce heat to medium and close lid. Turn chicken every 5 minutes until golden brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes.