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O.M.G. It isn’t often that I come across a new chicken recipe that blows my mind but thanks to Elly over at Elly Says Opa and her outrageous culinary creativity, I’ve found one of these recipes. I have to admit that I was slightly skeptical about coating chicken in cornmeal – Would the coating be crunchy enough? Would there be enough flavor? Would I be able to deal with a “breaded” chicken that was baked and not pre-pan fried? Well…yes, yes, and yes. This chicken was just outstanding!! The cornmeal was definitely crunchy and was loaded with flavor and paired with the smooth cheese and spicy pepper stuffed inside the chicken, this made for a meal Kyle and I will make many times over. The only snag I ran across with the recipe (not Elly’s fault of course) was that I couldn’t find poblano peppers anywhere so I opted for the slightly spicier jalapeño…and boy was it spicy!!! I sweat my way through the whole meal because I wasn’t about to hand over any bit of that chicken to Kyle. :) We served this alongside some Mexican rice and beans. So a BIG thanks to Elly for coming up with another fantastic dish…which by the way, we all still think you should enter this one in some contest or submit it to Allrecipes.com!!!

Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Poblano and Cheddar

source: Elly Says Opa blog

2 chicken breast halves
1 poblano pepper (I used jalapeño)
1/3 cup shredded or sliced sharp cheddar (I used Monterey Jack)
1 egg, beaten and mixed with a Tbsp of water (buttermilk would also be great here)
1/3 cup cornmeal
salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne to taste

Preheat your broiler and then broil the poblano for a couple minutes, turning it once the skin has blistered and blackened. After all sides of the pepper look charred, remove it from the broiler and put it in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to let the pepper cool.

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and place a rack/cooling rack on top of it. Spray the rack with cooking spray.

When the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off (it should come off easily at this point) and dice the poblano. Slit a pocket into the chicken breasts. Stuff the pocket with the diced poblano and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Combine the cornmeal with salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper to your tastes. Carefully dip the chicken breasts into the egg wash, and then dredge in the cornmeal mixture.

Place the chicken on the rack and spray the top with cooking oil. Bake about 20 minutes or until done, turning once in the middle of cooking.

Nutritional Information (using 4 oz. chicken breast halves and full fat cheddar): Calories: 310 / Fat: 10g / CarbsL 17g / Dietary Fiber: 1.7g / Protein: 35.3