It was the famous Oklahoman, Will Rogers, who said “If you don’t like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it’ll change.” As I type this, Oklahoma is one of those weeks during which the weather has fluctuated from near 90 to freeze warnings in the span of 7 days. Somewhere I imagine our favorite native son is now saying, “See. Told ya!” Around here, as we wait for a true spring to finally set in, we are grabbing the rare nice day to fire up our grill and at least pretend the weather will stay warmer! And seriously folks, when you’re eating chicken stuffed with melted cheese and bacon, and covered with more cheese, the weather really doesn’t matter! ~Tracy
- 4, 4 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. seasoned salt (I use Lawry’s.)
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 4 oz. part skim Cotija cheese (I use Cacique brand.)
- 3 T. Hormel Real Bacon Bits (no imitation)
- 2 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese
- 8 toothpicks soaked in water for a few minutes
Trim any excess fat from chicken breasts. Place chicken breasts on paper towels and pat dry (seasonings stick better to dry meat).
Combine garlic powder, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper; set aside.
Using a very sharp knife, split open each chicken breast leaving the edge attached to create a sort of envelope for the cheese and bacon.
Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over what will be the outside of each chicken breast.
Crumble 4 oz. of Cotija cheese and put ¼ of the cheese inside each chicken breast.
Sprinkle the bacon bits equally inside each breast with the cheese.
Use toothpicks to pin each chicken breast closed to keep the cheese and bacon from falling out. (Soaking toothpicks in water keeps them from burning on your grill.)
Carefully place each chicken breast on your pre-heated grill to cook, turning occasionally being careful not to spill out cheese and bacon.
Grill each stuffed chicken breast until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees. Juices should be clear.
Just before each chicken breast is done, place ½ slice of pepper jack cheese on each piece of chicken. Remove from heat when chicken is done and cheese is melted. Cheese will melt within about a minute on a hot grill.
Remove toothpicks before serving.