It’s amazing how different chicken can taste due to the way you cook it or what part of the chicken you use. These chicken breasts were so tender there was no need for a knife. I was amazed. What can I say about the sauce but it was wonderful! It was mild but very flavorful and rich tasting. This recipe does take some time to prepare but it is well worth it.
CHICKEN BREASTS GOURMET
- 6 to 8 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 to 8 pieces of crisp fried bacon
Directions for Chicken:
Toss each boneless, skinless chicken breast in a bag of flour that has been seasoned with salt & pepper Coat well. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter along with a few tablespoons of olive or Crisco oil in a skillet over medium high heat. When the grease is hot, place the floured breasts in the skillet, and brown very well on both sides. Lay the browned chicken in a 9×13 ” glass baking dish and set aside.
Directions for cooking bacon the easy way:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Lay the strips of bacon on top of the foil. Place the pan in the center of the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the bacon is done as you desire. I like mine pretty crisp. Note: If you prefer to wrap the bacon around each browned chicken breast, you will need to leave the bacon a bit flexible! Drain the grease away from the bacon, and reserve 1 tablespoon for the roux.
For the sauce:
- 1 cup milk
- 1cup whipping cream or half & half
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups Cheddar, Swiss or Colby cheese – grated
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter or use 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- 2 heaping tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or use sauteed onions instead
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
Directions for sauce:
Over medium heat, melt butter and add the salt, pepper, pepper flakes, onion powder and the sugar. Whisk together. Add the flour, and stir quickly until the roux is bubbly and smooth. Continue whisking and slowly add the milk, cream, chicken broth. ( I combine all of this together, then just pour it all in at once)
Continue whisking over medium heat until it has thickened – about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn heat to low!
Add the grated cheeses. (Cheddar, Colby, Swiss & Parmesan) Stir well until nice and smooth and creamy. Squeeze in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice if desired.
Note: If the sauce seems a bit too thick after all the cheese has been added, simply add a bit of chicken broth or milk and stir well. This sauce should not be as thick as pancake batter. You will want it a bit thinner. If you want additional seasonings add them.
Pour the sauce over top the browned chicken in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish. Toss in about 4 pieces of crumbled bacon. Reserve some for the top as garnish.
Cover the chicken with foil, and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 -60 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the THICKNESS of your chicken breasts. When it pulls apart easily with a fork, it’s ready and tender. Place a chicken breast on top of pasta, mashed potatoes, rice or cooked veggies or eat the chicken as is. (That is still my favorite way!)
Spoon extra sauce over the top of each breast and crumble additional bacon on top if desired.
I put my flour in a food storage baggie and added my chicken to it and shook it up. This is what your chicken should look like after you have coated it with the seasoned flour. I also flattened my chicken breasts a bit since I do not like big, thick ones.
When your chicken looks like the one in the back they are ready to come out. I did not cook mine too long since they were going to be baked in the oven as well. I put mine in a foil lined baking dish. Make sure you add the brown bits(not the oil) to the baking dish for added flavor.
Next you are ready to add the milk, cream, and chicken broth. I did what the recipe suggested and mixed those three liquids together. Slowly add this to your roux so you do not get lumps.
You can see in these pictures the sauce thickening up. This did take about 10 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low. Now you are ready to add the cheese. I used both Swiss and Parmesan cheese. Stir until it is smooth and creamy.
You can add lemon juice at this time(I did.) I did not have fresh lemon juice so I used the frozen by Minute Maid. It makes a good substitution when you don’t have a lemon.
Pour the sauce over your chicken.
On top of the sauce put some crumbled bacon. I did my bacon in the microwave and not in the oven. Now you are ready to cover it and place it in the oven. I only cooked my chicken for about 35 minutes since my chicken was not very thick. Do not overcook your chicken.
I served my chicken over brown rice. I also had some mango with it to help balance the richness of the dish. I had a knife but as you can see I did not need it. I really enjoyed this recipe. Next time I might make it with another type of cheese and see how it alters the flavor.