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Spring 2011

Spicy Chicken Jalapeño Rolls

by Kris Hughes

I love spicy food! It warms me up on a cold night and makes me sweat. This time of year when the weather is teasing us with 70 degrees one day and negative 20 the next this dish reminds me that Spring is on the way and that I will survive another cold night and wait patiently for Spring. The flavors remind me of Summer and all my favorite things to pick out of the garden. Also this dish is one of the best for having company over as you can make it well in advance and bake when you are ready or even freeze them for a later date. You can switch out the jalapeño for a pablano or even a green pepper if you can't stand the heat but I have actually been known to shake a little cayenne on the insides before I roll them up for some added heat. They end up tasting juicy, succulent, and have a deep smoky factor from the bacon.


Spicy Chicken Jalapeño Rolls

12 unbreaded chicken tenders (raw)
1 roma tomato cut in thin strips
1 jalapeño pepper cut in thin strips (or pablano)
1 /2 small onion cut very thin
4 oz sharp cheddar, cut in sticks
1 tsp rosemary, crushed
6 strips peppered bacon

Spread two chicken tenders on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and use a mallet or rolling pin to pound to a thinner and more even consistency. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Place one piece of tomato, jalapeno, onion and cheese in the center of one of the pieces and fold the ends up as best you can. Place the other chicken tender on top and wrap with a piece of bacon and secure it with a couple of toothpicks. Put on a baking sheet (I covered mine with a silicone mat for ease of clean up, parchment paper would work just as well.) Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Serve with some fresh pico de gallo or a slice of lime. This goes great with spanish rice and a nice mexican beer as you will need a little something to cool your palette off after these babies. Serves 4 to 6 depending on the appetites.


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