Friday, October 4, 2013

Monterey Chicken

I may not have a huge pantry but I do keep a lot of food stocked in my refrigerators and freezers.  (Yes, you read that correctly, it's plural.)  To make up for my small pantry, I have extra cooling space in my house.  I have a refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen and and additional refrigerator/freezer combination and a stand alone freezer in the basement. 

Just to clarify so that you don't think I some sort of weird freezer collector, I use one freezer exclusively for baked goods for my personal chef business and one refrigerator get used almost exclusively for tiered cakes.  (If you've ever tried to squeeze a tiered cake into a refrigerator, you know how important it is to have a frig that you can fit them into.) 

All of that cold storage space actually pays off more than you would think.  I have a really well stocked frig and freezer most of the time.  Most of you know that I'm a compulsive meal planner but there are times when I like to just use what I have stocked in my frig to put a dinner together. 

All of the ingredients (except for the bacon) for this Monterey Chicken came from things that I hand on hand.  The original recipe came from my Cook's Country magazine and I made a few changes to the recipe slightly to make it a little more - family friendly.  This dish is easy to make but the result is a delicious, elegant looking, guest worthy meal. 

Monterey Chicken
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless thinly sliced chicken breasts
4 slices bacon
6 ounces monterey jack cheese
1 1/2 inch thick slices red onion
pico de gallo

Whisk mustard, honey, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in a ziploc bag.

Add chicken and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Cook bacon in skillet, reserving fat.

Crumble cooled bacon and toss together with cheese.

Push a toothpick through each end of the onion slices to hold the rings together during grilling.

Brush each onion with reserved bacon fat and put on the grill alongside chicken.

Remove onions from grill.  Cool slightly.  Remove toothpicks, separate rings and top each chicken breast with onion.

When breasts are almost finished cooking, top with cheese/bacon mixture.  Continue to grill until chicken in 165 degrees and cheese is melted.

Top with pico de gallo and serve.

I would totally make this chicken for company.  It's easy to make and it's REALLY good.  I'm not at all offended that Ryan and Courtney both scraped everything off of the top of their chicken as soon as it hit their dinner plates.  I was not even upset at that fact that Courtney dipped her naked chicken in ranch dressing - a travesty in my world.  Nope, nothing could keep me from enjoying my delicious meal of Monterey chicken, brocollini and whole wheat pecan baguette.  I completely enjoyed my meal.


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