Chicken is probably the most common meat I cook with and is a great, healthy option for everyday dinners. But when combined with the right spices and ingredients, it magically transforms into something so much more. This Fiesta Stuffed Chicken recipe is no exception! I love chicken for its versatile nature and compatibility with just about everything I regularly keep in my kitchen. No matter what kind of flavor profile we crave, I know I can incorporate chicken to bump the lean protein count of our meal.
The secret ingredients
For this dish, we dry-rubbed the chicken (after stuffing) with some of my favorite traditional spices for Mexican cuisine. I prefer to use the thin-sliced chicken breasts you can buy at the grocery store to save on prep time. But if you want to save a few dollars or like to buy normal chicken breasts in-bulk, you can thin-slice them long-ways with a knife or pound them to no more than 1/8″ thickness. Ultimately, you want to be able to fold the chicken around the stuffing like a blanket, so the thinner the better. (The thickness of the chicken will also affect cooking time; the timing for this recipe assumes your chicken slices are around 1/8″ thick.)
We also used some classic cream cheese stuffing staples to add another level of spice and complexity to the dish. To make the stuffing more gooey for serving, I like to use whipped cream cheese and finely shredded cheese (though admittedly the picture below shows a stuffing based with regular cream cheese, mixed with an electric hand mixer like these from KitchenAid). Using whipped cream cheese makes the stuffing more like a soft cooked sauce out of the oven when you cut into the chicken. It also makes the stuffing a lot easier to mix during prep – so easy you can use a fork!
And of course, we added bacon! Because everything is better with bacon. You can easily leave it out of this dish if you want a more authentic Mexican flavor profile. But if you’re willing to adulterate this dish with this delicious crumble, fresh homemade bacon bits make a great addition!
How to seal the stuffing
The hardest part of making Fiesta Stuffed Chicken is sealing the chicken before baking. You’ll want to get a good seal around the stuffing to ensure it doesn’t leak too much while baking. (Some leaking is normal, but you don’t want all that delicious stuffing to escape and cook to the pan!) I recommend using extra-long toothpicks if you have them (there are many options available for free 2-day shipping through Amazon Prime). Or you can use regular toothpicks, though you may need to use one per corner instead of one per side.
To get the best seal, I like to weave the toothpick from one end to the other through all edges of the chicken like a sewing needle. I will also place the chicken flap-side up in the pan for baking. I may also sear the chicken flap-side down in a pan with hot oil for a minute or two before putting the chicken in the oven. You can skip this step, however, if your goal is to have fewer dishes to clean before bedtime.
A main dish for any plate
This easy but flavorful main dish can be paired with a number of side dishes to suit your mood any night of the week! To keep this meal more Americanized (to stick with our theme!), we paired the stuffed chicken with cheesy mashed potatoes topped with extra bacon and my childhood favorite veggie of all time…French-style cut green beans! Another current favorite of mine is to pair this dish with black beans and yellow rice.
By preparing extra of the stuffing ingredients, you can easily use them for many different side dishes, too. This makes for a deliciously complimentary plate easily made after a long day at the office!
Check out The recipe below and don’t forget to rate it!