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Southwestern Breaded Chicken Stuffed with Peppers and Cheese
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Total Time: 1 hour

Active Time:

Makes: 2 servings

I’ve been on a real cornbread kick lately. Last week, I came across a recipe for jalapeno cornbread muffins in New York Times, but rather than making the muffins, I used the ingredients to create this chicken dish. Simple, elegant, and relatively healthy, this dish will become a staple of your weeknight dinner roster.


  1. 1Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. 2Clean and trim your chicken breasts. After you’ve removed visible fat, butterfly the breasts, creating pockets as deep as the breasts will allow.
  3. 3To make the breading for the chicken breasts, combine the cornmeal, Panko, black pepper, chile powder, and garlic powder in a bowl, mixing well. Make sure to thoroughly incorporate these ingredients; if you don’t, you run the risk of having extra spicy patches on your chicken. Once breading ingredients are mixed, set bowl aside.
  4. 4To make the vegetable component of the filling, chop your orange bell pepper and Mexican green onions finely —you’ll want 1/4 cup of each vegetable. Combine these two ingredients with a scant 1/4 cup of finely-diced pickled jalapenos. In a bowl, mix these ingredients well; set aside.
  5. 5Cut cheese into thin slices of roughly equal width — the thinner, the better.
  6. 6Pour buttermilk into a bowl and set aside.
  7. 7Now, to stuff the chicken breasts: place half of the sliced cheese inside each chicken breast. Fill each breast with as much vegetable mixture as can be accommodated, and then press the chicken breasts shut. (Note: if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can tie shut the breasts with twine or keep them closed using toothpicks, but neither of these steps is necessary.)
  8. 8Dip each breast into the bowl of buttermilk, making sure each is fully coated. This is tricky — a bit of the filling may fall out — but working slowly can help you avoid losing too much of the veggie mixture.
  9. 9Dredge each breast in the cornmeal/Panko breading, making sure the entire surface is covered.
  10. 10Transfer the breasts to a lightly-greased pan and bake for 40 minutes. Once they’re cooked, let the breasts sit for a few minutes before serving.

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