October 30, 2012

Cornbread Chicken w/ Jalapeno Popper Sauce

Well, October is almost over...can you believe it?  The days just go by so fast, and then the next thing you know a month has gone by.  Then the next thing you know, another year has gone by.  And then all of a sudden you are thinking about your 20th high school reunion that's coming up and wondering if you should go...well, that one is still over 6 months away but it will be here in the blink of an eye and I'll be wondering how I got so old so fast!  Whenever I think about turning the big 40 I begin to panic.  Is this normal?  So many things run through my mind - I'm gonna die soon, how can I be this old when I still feel like a teenager?, what have I done with my life?, I better start enjoying every second of every day because....well I'm gonna die soon!  I am still 2 yrs and 3 months away from the big 40, so you would think I wouldn't be wasting my time thinking about these things right now but the truth is that I've been dreading turning 40 since I turned 30!  Enough about that - thinking about getting older makes me depressed. 

In an effort to not think about those things, I will just turn to food for comfort.  So this week my "new" recipe of the week that I tried was this cornbread crusted chicken with jalapeno popper sauce.  What a great recipe this turned out to be.  The sauce is what makes this dish - it definitely reminded me of a jalapeno popper (which I love).  This recipe was easy to put together, and was ready in about 45 minutes, which is nice if you're cooking it on a weeknight.  I've made a few changes to the original recipe, but overall two thumbs up from our house - we all thought it was very good.  It was a nice change from the old standby chicken recipes, so if you like jalapeno poppers give this one a try!

  Cornbread Crusted Chicken w/ Jalapeno Popper Sauce (adapted from letsdishrecipes.blogspot.com)

4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless and cut in 1/2 lengthwise so they are a bit thinner
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3 slices of bacon, cooked then chopped
3 jalapenos, seeds removed & chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cup chicken broth 
8 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 

Fry the bacon in a medium skillet until crisp, then remove bacon from pan and let drain on paper towels (set aside the pan with the bacon grease for later use).  Add vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet and turn the heat on medium high.  In a large bowl beat the egg and set aside.  On a large plate mix together the cornmeal, chili powder, cumin and salt.  Take the each piece of chicken and dip it in the egg, then in the cornbread mixture.  Once the skillet is nice and hot, add the chicken and shallow-fry it until it is crispy on both sides and completely cooked through.  Remove the chicken and place on a plate lined with paper towels, and cover with a lid to keep it warm.

While the chicken is cooking, take the pan you cooked the bacon in and add the chopped jalapenos to the grease and cook on medium heat until they soften.  Add the garlic, stir and let cook for about a minute.  Stir in the chicken broth, and deglaze the pan while it comes to a boil.  Add the cream cheese and whisk until it's melted and nice and smooth.  Add the cheddar cheese and bacon, and stir until the cheese is melted.  To serve, spoon the sauce over the chicken - don't skimp because there's plenty of sauce here, and the more the better!