Sometimes a smoked dish can be a bit of an undertaking. So naturally, finding a smoked dish that doesn’t take a ton of time is a real find, especially if you want to cook a family meal during the week. And thankfully, Liz came up with something that is a real winner. In fact, I’m having it for lunch today as well.
I am calling it Liz’s dish because she came across a number of jalapeño popper casseroles, which sounded delicious, but she wanted to lighten it up a bit. Thank goodness she didn’t eliminate the bacon. While the final product probably wouldn’t qualify as health food, it was lighter than a casserole, low in carbs and delicious. Let’s get started.
SMOKED CHICKEN JALAPEÑO POPPER
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
4 to 5 large jalapeño peppers
1 cup crumbled bacon bits
1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 tablespoons granulated garlic
Salt and pepper for chicken
Red pepper flakes, optional
Sometimes the boneless and skinless chicken breasts can be quite large, so to speed things up and to create a more realistic serving size I cut the breasts in half lengthwise. I then salt and peppered both sides and placed them on the smoker at around 300 degrees. It only took 20 minutes or so to smoke them and bring them up to 140 degrees. You could also grill them. Heck, you could simply bake them too, but what’s the fun in that? We don’t smoke them all the way to 160 degrees (when it’s considered cooked through) because they will be baking for a while in the oven as well. With the jalapeño peppers, cut them lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. The more seeds you leave in the peppers the spicier the dish will be. Chop into small pieces.
In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, garlic, mayo and sour cream. Lay the smoked chicken breasts in the bottom of a casserole bowl and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Now smear the chicken breasts with the cream cheese mixture. Next, sprinkle on the cheddar cheese and spread out the chopped jalapeños. We added a sprinkling of red pepper flakes on top of the cheese as well. That’s optional. Lastly, top with the bacon pieces.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Then, for 5 minutes, set the oven to broil at 500 degrees just to slightly brown the cheese on the top. Don’t walk away when the broil setting is on. It will go from perfect to burnt in a matter of 45 seconds. Serve alongside a chilled tossed salad and enjoy!