Growing up, we enjoyed home cooked meals every night. No matter how busy my mom was or what activities we were involved in, she always cooked us a well rounded meal and we sat at the table together.
One dish she made that I loved was what she called Cheese-Nip Chicken. She would put a piece of cheddar cheese in a boneless chicken breast, and coat the chicken with crushed up Cheese-Nips. I made this dish for Jon several years ago, and out of nowhere he requested I put it on this week's menu.
Random tip - if you are like me and don't bake, you probably don't own a rolling pin. So to crush the Cheese-Nips, I put them in a bag and started to pound, but I wasn't getting the fine consistency I wanted. I looked up and spotted an empty wine bottle waiting to go out to the recycle bin. Yes, an empty wine bottle worked as the perfect substitute for a rolling pin. I don't suggest using it on dough or whatever else you use a rolling pin for, but for crushing crackers to a powder in a bag it worked perfectly!
I have changed the recipe a bit since my mom made it. Below is my version -
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Spices: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard
- 1 wedge Laughing Cow Cheese
- Handful shredded cheddar; I used a cheddar/jack mix last night
- 2 handfuls cheese nips, crushed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Season the chicken breasts with just a few shakes of the spices on each side. Cut a pocket in the chicken. Spread the Laughing Cow cheese evenly between the chicken and spread it in the pocket. Put some cheddar cheese in the pocket and press the seam closed.
- Put three dishes next to each other - flour, beaten egg, cheese nips (mix in some cheese and onion powder with the cheese nips if you want!). Dredge chicken in flour, dip in egg, repeat. Double dipping will give you a thicker, crispier crust. Finally, coat in the cheese nips.
- Place the chicken in a baking dish, seam side up, and bake on 400 for 30 minutes. Turn on the broiler for the last 2 minutes.
The last time I made this I didn't use the garlic powder, onion powder, or dry mustard. I could really taste a difference by adding these spices. Jon liked it so much that he ate one and a half chicken breasts! This is a pretty big deal since the guy usually groans when I say I'm doing something with chicken (at least I try to mix it up for him by trying new things quite often!).
I don't think my mom has had this dish in many, many years, so I think I'm going to have to have her over for Cheese-Nip Chicken soon.
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