Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken is the dinner that dreams are made of. Creamy and cheesy stuffed jalapenos are stuffed into juicy chicken breasts and then lovingly wrapped in salty bacon. Slow smoked for maximum flavor and basted with homemade BBQ sauce, this is a jalapeno popper like you’ve never had it before.
Todd (my husband) and I first had a dish really similar to this at a restaurant called Pork Belly’s in his little hometown. We ordered the “Chicken Bomb” as they called it, and stared with eyes wide as the waitress brought this beautiful bacon wrapped gift to our table. Once we sliced it open and all of that glorious, gooey cream cheese came spilling out of the popper, I knew this was one that I would be recreating at home. Here’s how I made my bacon wrapped jalapeno popper stuffed chicken!
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Recipe
I start with a classic popper filling, softened cream cheese, medium cheddar cheese, and then add my own twist with my Homemade BBQ Sweet Rub. This adds a little smokiness and sweetness to the inside of the popper itself. Make sure your jalapenos are thoroughly cleaned of seeds and ribs to remove that excess spiciness. I like to split my jalapenos in half and scrape the seeds before stuffing with the filling and then pressing them back together.
How To Make Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken
Once your poppers are assembled, it’s time to get to the next step! Use a sharp knife to split your chicken breasts. I press down with one hand on top of the breasts and use the other hand with the knife parallel to the cutting board to slowly slice through the breast. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through, leave one side of the breast completely in tact so you can easily open and close the chicken.
Set the stuffed popper in the middle of the opened breast and then fold the top flap of the chicken over to envelop the popper completely. Next up, it’s time to wrap in bacon! I like to use a regular thickness of bacon on this chicken so the fat has time to render and crisp by the time to chicken is done cooking.
When the internal temperature of the jalapeno popper stuffed chicken reaches 150 degrees F, I like to baste with BBQ sauce. I prefer to use my homemade Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce for this recipe, but my Apple Jalapeno BBQ Sauce would also be super delicious! If you don’t want to take the time to make homemade sauce, you can always use your favorite store bought brand. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. I like to use an instant read thermometer like the ThermoPop from Thermoworks. It’s only $29 and works like a champ!
I make my jalapeno popper stuffed chicken in my smoker, but if you don’t have one you can absolutely use an oven or a regular gas or charcoal grill. All you have to do is follow the same time and temperature guidelines in the written recipe below. In your oven, make sure the bacon fat has somewhere to go. I recommend cooking on a roasting rack above a baking sheet so the fat can drip down and not saturate the bottom of your chicken.
If you’re cooking these in a regular grill, the key is cooking the chicken on indirect heat. Turn on half of your burners and then cook the chicken on the half where the burners are off. The radiant heat will cook them without having do deal with the flare ups and grease fires from the bacon fat dripping down onto your coals or open flames.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 large jalapenos
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 oz medium cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 Tablespoon Hey Grill Hey’s Sweet BBQ Rub link in recipe notes
- 12 pieces bacon
- 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey’s Sweet BBQ Rub link in recipe notes
- 1/2 cup Kansas City bbq sauce link in recipe notes
Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F for indirect heat with mild wood like apple or hickory.
Prepare your poppers by slicing the tops off of the jalapenos, cutting them in half, and scraping out the ribs and seeds inside of the poppers.
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and the 1 Tablespoon of sweet rub. Use the back of the spoon to press the filling mixture into each half of the cleaned out peppers and then press the pepper halves back together.
On a large cutting board, slice the chicken breasts open, without slicing all of the way through the breasts. Set one filled popper inside of each chicken breast and fold them closed.
Wrap each chicken breast with about 3 slices of bacon. Secure the bacon ends with toothpicks, if necessary. Season the stuffed chicken on all sides with more of the sweet rub.
Place the chicken breasts on the smoker, close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F. This process usually takes an hour and a half. Baste the chicken liberally with BBQ sauce, close the lid, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Remove the chicken to a cutting board or serving platter and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!
Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub: https://heygrillhey.com/recipe/best-sweet-rub-grilled-pork-chicken/
Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce: https://heygrillhey.com/recipe/kansas-city-style-bbq-sauce