Sometimes I see recipes on Pinterest that look amazing, and I pin them, but with no real intention of ever actually making them. But this one I found, pinned and made in the same day. It was pretty wonderful and easily adapts to what you have, what you like and what you need. The original recipe, found here at Lady Behind the Curtain, makes 6 servings. I made 3 servings, enough for a couple for dinner and leftovers for me for lunch the next 2 days. You can easily make this meal to serve 1 or a dozen. And whoever you serve will be pleased.
I hate taking pictures of food in my kitchen when it’s already dark out. I’ve probably lamented about this before, but it really is discouraging. Natural light is a photographer’s best friend, especially when food is involved. I’m not a photographer, by the way. I’d imagine a real photographer would’ve made this look less…strange…and much more appetizing. But please believe me when I tell you that this is a really tasty and satisfying meal, despite my not so amazing photograph.
Pounded chicken breasts are wrapped around jalapeno jack cheese, green chile and cilantro, dredged in seasoned corn meal and baked, topped with more cheese, then drizzled (or drenched if that’s more your style) in enchilada sauce, and if you’re feeling fancy, sprinkled with some crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro. The chicken turns out moist, the green chile and cheese in the center is really delicious and the corn meal crust is crunchy and delicious. I used this taco seasoning recipe from Alton Brown. It will likely become the only taco seasoning I use from now on. Not because I dislike packaged seasoning and all the unknowns it carries, but because it is just really good. More flavor from spices and less from the salt when you make it yourself I think. I highly recommend giving it a try. You likely have all the ingredients in your pantry. Here is the link.
If you’ve already gone over to the original recipe and looked at the ingredients you might notice that I’m using more cheese, but making half the amount of food. It’s not a mistake. I like cheese and using half an ounce of cheese in one chicken breast made me sad. I want to cut into the chicken and have melting cheese ooze out. That is not going to happen with such a small amount of cheese. Although a smaller amount of cheese is definitely the healthier way to go! Go ahead and be smart and portion conscious if you want to be, but you might regret it just a little. I made the original amount of cornmeal crust because I am of the mind that it’s better to have more than you need than not enough. I did have some left over, but the chicken breasts I had were large and I’m glad I didn’t cut the amount in half, I wouldn’t have had enough.
To change this to suit your taste use a different type of cheese, whatever you like or have, white cheddar, colby jack, etc. You could also use a different type of enchilada sauce, green, mild, hot, etc. And again, this is easily adapted to suit the number of people you need to serve. Eat up and enjoy!
Cornmeal Crusted Chicken with Green Chiles and Jalapeno Jack Cheese
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 ounces of jalapeno jack cheese, cut into 1 ounce slices + 1-2 extra ounces shredded cheese for topping
- 2 whole green chiles, sliced in half lengthwise (I used whole canned green chiles and froze what I did not use in a zip top bag.)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (again, this one is amazing!)
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1 egg
- red enchilada sauce (store bought or homemade)
- crumbled queso fresco (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Whisk egg in a wide shallow bowl, set aside.
- Whisk cornmeal and taco seasoning together in a wide shallow bowl, set aside.
- Pound each chicken breast to 1/8 inch thickness (pound between layers of plastic wrap or wax paper) and lay each out on your work surface.
- Lay one slice of green chile in the center of each chicken breast. (You’ll have a slice leftover if you’re making 3, so either add it to one of the breasts, or cut it into 3 pieces and add one to each breast.)
- Place a slice of cheese on top of the chile, followed by a sprinkle of cilantro.
- Roll up the chicken. Dip into the egg to coat, then into the cornmeal to coat. Place into the baking dish, seam side down.
- Repeat with all of the chicken breasts, then bake for 25-30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, sprinkle with the extra shredded cheese.
- Warm the enchilada sauce in a small saucepan. Drizzle sauce over the chicken after is comes out of the oven and sprinkle with more cilantro and queso fresco if desired.