Broiled Chicken Breast with Peppers, Onions & Bacon Awash in Melted Cheddar
Yesterday, my husband and I decided that we would create a brand-spankin’-new gluten-free, broiled chicken breast recipe. At first, we were thinking about doing something “beefy,” but we very quickly decided that a brand-new chicken recipe was more along the lines of what we were hungry for.
Personally, I was hungry for a broiled chicken breast “thing” that was unusual as well as tender and delicious!
My husband and I chatted about what we could do that might be fun to do together and take care of my chicken breast, “tender and delicious” thing!
What we came up with was so tender it could be cut with a fork and was so delicious with the contrasting textures and blended, mellow flavors that it would almost be sacrilegious to try to describe how marvelous it tasted.
Today’s post presents what we came up with! Hope you enjoy our concoction. We decided to call it …
… Broiled Chicken Breast with Peppers, Onions & Bacon, Awash in Melted Cheddar.
Not the best title in the world… But it sure did taste good.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
If you want to skip over the “Step-by-Step in Pictures,” click to go directly to “The Recipe”
The Step-by-Step in Pictures
For our dinner, I bought two absolutely succulent and tender, free-range chicken breasts to broil and smother under bacon, along with strips of peppers & onions and a lovely, sharp cheddar cheese; all of which I found at a local specialty food store.
We used each chicken breast as the “raft” that our creation was built upon.
Here’s what the finished product looked like… It looked much more elegant before I put it under the broiler… But, after it came out from under the heat, the bacon, peppers and cheese melted into a slurry of delicious culinary perfection… Here’s what it looked like, and it tasted Good!
Oh, yeah! Before I forget… We redid the recipe with less cheese and the finished product looked much more elegant but both my husband and I thought the first “throw caution to the wind” approach tasted “tons” better.
Getting set up didn’t really take too long at all.
First, I quickly prepared the sides and got them ready for cooking… sweet potato cubes for me and some mashed potatoes for my hubby who doesn’t particularly care for yams or sweet potatoes. I put them in their cooking pans and set them to the side.
I quickly followed suit by staging the pepper strips and onions in a large custard cup. I trimmed the chicken breasts to eliminate what little bit of gristle or fat there might be hanging along the edges. I then put the sliced cheddar (2½ pieces… Two for dinner and a half to split between my regular beggars… 2 doggies and my husband) on a bread plate and set them all aside for cooking.
Now it’s time to get serious. Begin preheating your broiler anytime after you start frying the bacon.
I cooked the bacon next because I will need a tablespoon of the drippings when I saute the peppers and onions. Notice the extra piece of bacon in the frying pan? That’s for my 3 beggars. Be sure to blot well and set aside after you fry the bacon. Then, drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Be careful when you pour the hot bacon drippings out of the frying pan.
You might want to cover the bacon strips after they are fried, if you need to leave the room for some reason… It tends to reduce the “Not Me” protestations from the head beggar, if you have one.
As soon as you’ve drained the bacon, it’s time to put the chicken breasts into the oven.
Next, after I’ve started the chicken breasts in the broiler, I saute the peppers and onions in the frying pan which I used to fry the bacon. Remember that there is a tablespoon of bacon drippings still in the frying pan. Saute over medium heat until they are crisp-tender.
Be sure to keep an eye on the chicken breasts while you are sauteing the peppers and onions. When it’s time, take the chicken out of the broiler. It should be starting to look golden brown on the broiler side. The breasts will be ready to turn when that happens.
Here’s what mine look like when it’s time to turn them.
Shortly after I turn them and put them back under the Broiler, I begin watching them to see when the burn a lovely, golden brown started to appear. That tells me that it’s time to whip out the Ol’ Instant Read Thermometer tp see if they are done.
And, use an Instant Read Thermometer to check whether or not the chicken breasts are actually done by taking the internal temperature of the breasts in the thickest part. It’s a lot safer than eye-balling and sticking a fork into the chicken breasts. If you need one, Amazon has several good, inexpensive ($10 – $30, USD) Instant Read Models available.
Also, here’s a link to the USDA description of chicken and poultry which will give you the safe cooking temperatures.
It’s finally time to build the raft of toppings for your treat!
First, place selected pieces pepper and onions from the saute that you did earlier. This is somewhat counter-intuitive. Most would want to put the bacon first… And, there is really no reason why the bacon can’t be on the bottom. I put the peppers and onions on the bottom because they are softer and more malleable. You could place the bacon layer first if you wish to, of course.
Next, I place 2 pieces of bacon lengthwise on each chicken breast. They should be as close as possible to each other along the lengthwise center line of each chicken breast.
When you’ve done that, apply any remaining bacon strips to the mouths of the beggars, as appropriate… Or maybe to your mouth!
And, finally, place the sliced cheddar on top of the Raft. The cheddar will melt in the next step and lock down the raft on top of the chicken breasts. I’ve tried it with a large slice of cheddar on each breast and my husband and I thought it tasted great but it looked somewhat like a landslide had occurred. We then tried it with only 1/2 slice of cheddar and while it looked much more “professional” and formal, neither of us thought it tasted as good as the “landslide” version.
Pop it all back under the broiler until melted a desired.
And, here’s my husband’s plate with the “landslide” version, ready to eat. Notice, he tried some of my fried sweet potato cubes… He quickly got more mashed potatoes…
Broiled Chicken Breast with Peppers, Onions, Bacon Awash in Melted Cheddar
For 2 servings:
2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, about 5 ounces each (thawed, if it was frozen)
4 slices bacon (reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings)
1 cup onion and pepper strips (the proportion is up to you—my husband likes more peppers, less onions)
2 slices sharp cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste
Thaw chicken if necessary. Lightly oil the broiler pan (I usually cover the rack with foil first, pierced in several places to drain any liquid into the lower pan). Arrange the chicken pieces on the broiler rack. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside, blotting with paper towels. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings in the skillet and drain the rest.
When the broiler is preheated, put the chicken in the broiler. Set a timer for 7 minutes.
Stir the peppers and onions into the bacon drippings reserved in the skillet. Saute the peppers and onions over medium heat until crisp tender.
Turn the chicken after about 7 minutes, or when it begins to brown slightly. Set the timer for another 5 minutes. The thickness of the chicken breasts will determine the full amount of time needed, so don’t let it overcook – but don’t undercook it, either. After the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F and its juices run clear when pierced, remove it from the broiler for a moment.
Top each piece of chicken with peppers and onions, then with two slices of bacon, then with a slice of cheese. Return to the broiler until cheese is melted – only for a minute or maybe less, so watch carefully.
What is free-range, cage-free chicken?