Bacon-wrapped BBQ Chicken
This one is a quick and easy favorite. You can prep them ahead of time and freeze the portions individually, then thaw them a day before you plan to bake them. As soon as you get home one hectic day, just preheat the oven, place the chicken breasts in a baking dish, throw them in the oven, and let them bake on their own - no muss, no fuss. The bacon serves two important functions. First, it adds big flavor. Second, it bastes the chicken while it bakes to prevent excessive drying, resuting in a very tender and flavorful entree. I get the fresh, boneless, skinless chicken breasts from Publix that are already marinated in BBQ rub.
- You will need:
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts, however many you plan to serve, either unadulterated or marinated in BBQ rub or sauce
- 3-4 slices of bacon per breast
- Sharp or smoked cheddar cheese, enough to cover each portion, sliced or shredded
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Place a fairly large piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper down over your cutting board, and lay down 3-4 slices of bacon side by side with the edges slightly overlapping.
- On top of the bacon, lay one of the chicken breasts crosswise so that the bacon can be wrapped around each piece - and wrap it up in the bacon. When you're finished, throw the paper/plastic away for clean-up.
- Place the now wrapped breast with the folded sides down in a baking dish, but don't crowd them. (See image here)
- Bake the chicken for approx. 30 minutes or until cooked throughout, then turn off the oven.
- Remove chicken from baking dish and drain dish of fat, return to dish and cover each portion with cheese, and return to oven until cheese is melted. (See image of finished dish here)
You can serve this alongside any traditional BBQ fixings you like, or allow to cool a bit and make excellent sandwiches with it. It's also good cold, chopped into pieces, and made into a pizza with a BBQ sauce base, onions, red bell peppers, and more cheese. I've done both, and also had it along with baked beans, coleslaw, and home fries or hashed browns. Be creative!