- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx 3-4 breasts)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 6 slices bacon (approx 4-6 oz)
- 2 medium jalapenos, de-seeded & diced into 1/4" pieces (sub 1 diced green bell pepper)
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (approx 4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (sub sour cream, full-fat plain yogurt or cream cheese)
- NOTE: you can make this all using the castiron skillet; I like to bake the breasts in a separate dish because I find that some brown bits leftover on the castiron from cooking get burnt.
- Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 10x4 or similar-sized baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Place chicken breasts side by side between two pieces of parchment paper and use a meat mallet or other blunt, heavy object to lightly pound chicken to an even thickness, approximately 1 ½”. Set chicken aside at room temperature.
- In a small bowl, stir together honey, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Heat a castiron or other nonstick skillet to medium heat and add bacon. Cook, flipping every few minutes, until bacon is done to your desired texture--I like mine very crispy, which take approximately 10-15 minutes.
- While bacon is cooking, place two stacked paper towels near the stove. When bacon is finished cooking, place it on the paper towel.
Carefully drain most of the bacon grease into a glass jar, then you can either save it for cooking or discard/compost it ONCE it is COOL.
- Turn heat to low and add diced jalapenos and a splash of water. Use your spoon or spatula to scrape up any brown bits off of the pan and mix them with the jalapenos. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-6 minutes, until jalapenos are tender and golden-brown around the edges.
- Add honey/spice mixture and another splash of water and cook, stirring, until any liquid has evaporated. Crumble bacon and add it back to the pan. Stir to mix everything together, then add mixture to a medium-sized heat-proof bowl.
Add ¾ cup cheese and mayo to the jalapeno/bacon mixture and mix to evenly incorporate.
- Carefully slice chicken breasts horizontally, using a very sharp knife, almost all the way through but not completely, forming a “pocket”. Place chicken breasts in your greased baking dish and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon olive oil and remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Stuff each chicken breast “pocket” with an equal amount of the jalapeno/ bacon mixture, using it all up and gently pressing closed. Evenly sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup grated cheddar.
- Bake chicken for 30-40 minutes (will depend on the size of the breasts), until completely cooked through--totally opaque with no pink remaining. As soon as chicken comes out of the oven, carefully hold the dish at a slight tilt and use a spoon to grab juices from the corner and baste the chicken for a minute.
Allow chicken to rest 10 minutes in the dish before removing and serving.
Leftovers will keep tightly sealed in the fridge up to 4 days or frozen 3-5 months.