Monterey Chicken

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Posted by Erin

This recipe is an oldie but a goodie… a classic in many restaurants and diners, Monterey Chicken is always a favorite.  It’s so easy to make, there’s no reason you shouldn’t enjoy it at home as well!  This is one of the first dishes I made when Albert and I were newlyweds… or at least one of the first successful dishes.  It’s still on the menu at our house quite often, 14 years later.  It’s a quick and easy meal for a busy night, especially if you have the bacon precooked.  I keep cooked bacon in my freezer all the time (We love bacon!) but, if you don’t have any on hand, you can easily substitute 1 T. pre-packaged real bacon bits per chicken breast.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

6 (approx. 4 ounce each) boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded 1-inch thick

1 tsp. each of cumin, garlic salt, onion powder, and smoked paprika

1 T. olive oil

6 T. barbecue sauce

6 thin slices Colby-Jack cheese (such as Sargento Ultra Thin)

6 slices center cut bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

1 green onion, chopped

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large oven-safe skillet.

Season chicken breasts with cumin, garlic salt, onion powder, and paprika.

Brown the chicken in the skillet for 3 or 4 minutes on each side until no longer pink; remove from heat.

Top each chicken breast with 1 T. barbecue sauce, 1 slice cheese, and 1 slice crumbled bacon.

Sprinkle evenly with chopped tomatoes and green onions.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake about 5-8 minutes, until cheese is fully melted.

 

*Each loaded chicken breast is only 6 Weight Watchers SmartPoints!

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Bacon Burger Meatballs

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Tracy’s first cookbook was the 1972 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cookbook. While this cookbook helped us all learn to love cooking some of the options were, shall we say…less than gourmet, such as the “Peppy Frank Pizza” made with cut-up hotdogs and American cheese, or the Cinnamon Twists made with canned biscuits. Nevertheless, one of our favorite recipes, Bacon Burger Meatballs, was adapted from one of these basic recipes.  

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. 93% lean ground beef

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 T. hamburger seasoning (such as McCormick’s Grill Mates)

half sleeve saltine crackers

5 slices center cut bacon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425.

Slice each piece of bacon into four strips by cutting once lengthwise and then cutting each long strip in half.  Partially cook in microwave for approximately 2 minutes.  Set bacon aside.

Mix ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, and hamburger seasoning in large bowl.  Stir until mixture is well combined.

Crush saltine crackers and place crumbs into shallow bowl.  

Shape beef mixture into approximately 10 large meatballs.  Roll each meatball in saltine cracker crumbs coating all sides.

Wrap two slices of bacon around each meatball and place on lined baking sheet.

Bake meatballs for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked through.  

Hint: If bacon begins to become too crisp, loosely cover the top of pan with foil to avoid over-browning.  

Weight Watchers Smart Points: These meatballs are 4 SmartPoints each (even if you stuff a small cube of cheese inside)!