Good Eats: Monterey Chicken

I must declare that I am the GREATEST GIRLFRIEND EVER! I shall explain why before you assume I’m some egotistical psycho.

Joe has been under the weather for the past couple days. Last night, it seems his illness has gotten a little worse. I think it’s a sinus infection. Since he wasn’t feeling too hot, I decided to throw together one of his favorite meals. Whenever we go to Chili’s, he always gets the Monterey Chicken. It consists of chicken topped with barbecue sauce, bacon, tomatoes and cheese. Delicious, right? I had never made it myself, so I thought I would take a stab at it for him.

Holy batman! This turned out way better than I expected. I was informed when I took it out of the oven that Joe couldn’t smell ANYTHING. He was seriously missing out. The wafting smell of bacon and barbecue was enough to get even Apollo, out kitty cat, salivating.

Here’s what I did.

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp parsley flakes
4 slices of bacon
Shredded colby jack cheese
Your favorite barbecue sauce (We like Sweet Baby Rays)
Rotel with green chilis (drained)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all spices in a small bowl and mix together. Press and pat the mixed spices into each chicken breast on both sides. Heat oil in a skillet. Add the seasoned chicken to the hot oil. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with aluminum foil. This is to make clean up easier. Add chicken breasts to pan and place in oven. Cook for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. While chicken is cooking, prepare the bacon in a skillet, flipping occasionally. Set aside when desired bacon density is reached. (I like my bacon a little crispy. Some people don’t.) When the chicken breasts have reached 170 degrees, dollop some barbecue sauce on each chicken breast. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Place a spoonful or two of Rotel on each chicken breast. Divide the bacon amongst the four chicken breasts on top of the sauce and Rotel. And finally sprinkle a handful of shredded colby jack cheese on top. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Voila!

A few side notes:

-I suggest using a George Foreman or grilling pan. We have one, but it’s an older model that only has one setting. Unfortunately, it cooks the outside of the meat too quickly, so I don’t use it too much.

-I was going to use fresh grape tomatoes (because that’s what I had), but came home last night too tired and basically forgot about it. I scrambled to come up with a quick solution and the amazing Rotel came into my view. Seriously, my savior!

Overall, this is by far the best chicken recipe I’ve ever made! Whoa! That’s saying a lot, too. The sweetness of the barbecue sauce and tangy, spiciness of the Rotel and seasoning compliments so well. I was worried I was making it too flavorful. Too flavorful?! Is that possible?

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