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IMG_5110We love to cruise through cookbooks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand new one from the latest, hottest celebrity chef or an interesting looking cookbook Cindy happens to pick up at the library – yes, we still go to the library.

Santa Fe Chicken | Top Secret Recipes
This is from one of Cindy’s trips to the library. She found it in a ” Top Secret Restaurant” cookbook – how could we pass that up? Armed with a stash of post it notes, Cindy flagged this one (and a million other recipes we will eventually do)  from Applebees and we decided to try it. The result? A colorful, cheesy, non-fried chicken dish with southwestern flair that’s a nice change from other chicken dishes we make.

IMG_0257Start with some green and red peppers. Chop them up beautifully – like this!

IMG_0313Take flattened chicken breasts and fill them with a wedge of cheese.

IMG_0318Roll the chicken around the cheese wedge and secure with toothpicks.

IMG_0323Dip the rolled breast in melted butter. Mmmm. Butter.

IMG_0327Then roll in bread crumb mixture to coat.

IMG_0328Place in a baking dish and drizzle the melted butter over it

IMG_0400Beautiful melted cheese and golden chicken breasts.

IMG_0409Drizzle with cheese sauce and sprinkle with peppers. Kinda looks like a southwest dish doesn’t it? Maybe that’s why it’s called Santa Fe Chicken… Hmmm…

IMG_0430This is waiting for you when you cut it open. Delish!

Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 package (8 ounce or larger) Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced

Directions

Cut some of the cheese into 8 slices, and reserve part of it for the cheese sauce. Place 1 chicken breast between two sheets of wax paper. Working from the center to the edges pound with a meat mallet until flat and rectangular shaped. Repeat with remaining breasts. Wrap the flattened chicken breasts around cheese. Secure with tooth picks.

Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, cumin and pepper. Roll the secured chicken pieces in the melted butter and then in the bread crumb mixture. Place chicken breasts in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, but don’t crowd them. Drizzle the remaining butter over all eight of the breasts. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze to bake later (baking time will be increased by about 5 to 10 minutes).

Bake in a preheated 400ºF (205ºC) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Make a roux with butter and flour. Add about 1 cup milk. Bring to a simmer. Add cheese and lower the heat, stirring constantly so cheese does not burn. Add milk as needed to thin out the cheese sauce.

When chicken is done, pour some cheese sauce over top and sprinkle with diced peppers.

Nom. nom. nom.