Southwestern Breaded Chicken Stuffed with Peppers and Cheese Recipe

Difficulty: Medium | 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.

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Scant 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, finely diced
  • 1/4 orange bell pepper
  • Mexican green onions (green onions can be substituted)
  • 1/4 pint buttermilk
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Clean and trim your chicken breasts. After you’ve removed visible fat, butterfly the breasts, creating pockets as deep as the breasts will allow.
  3. To 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. To 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. Cut cheese into thin slices of roughly equal width — the thinner, the better.
  6. Pour buttermilk into a bowl and set aside.
  7. Now, 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. Dip 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. Dredge each breast in the cornmeal/Panko breading, making sure the entire surface is covered.
  10. Transfer 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.

Member recipes are not tested by the CHOW food team.