>Chicken + Cheese Spread = Drool

>Every now and then I get a hankering for something delicious and cheesy, but unfortunately I have a notoriously sensitive stomach and can only handle a little bit. I’ve learned to concentrate my cheesy goodness into lower-fat options so that I don’t keel over.

Today was one of those cheesy-goodness-craving days so thus, I let myself loose in the kitchen. And this Thursday’s Dinner Feature is the result, which I’m proud to say is my own experimental recipe. Woop woop!

Cheese-Spread Chicken Roll-Ups

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup crushed pretzels
2 oz cream cheese (I used the low-fat Neufchatel cheese), softened
1/2 tbsp dried chives
1/2 tsp garlic powder
plain bread crumbs

Place chicken breasts between wax paper, and pound to about 1-inch (or thinner) thickness using a meat mallet (or in my case, a rolling pin).

Meanwhile, mix pretzels, cream cheese, chives, and garlic powder in a small mixing bowl.

Spread cheese mixture onto flattened chicken breasts, then roll-up, securing with tooth picks. Try to make sure the rolls are all roughly the same size. Gently roll chicken rolls in breadcrumbs, then arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until cooked through (180 degrees is the standard).

I served our chicken with lightly buttered peas and Chicken Rice-A-Roni. Yep, I’m not ashamed to admit it. I have at least five more boxes of Rice-A-Roni in our pantry too. I think it wound up being a delicious combination.

I just think chives are beautiful, don’t you?
“And then I’LL SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!!!” (Name that movie!)
Nothing like raw chicken to whet your appetite.
I had used frozen chicken breasts which for some reason are never as evenly-shaped
or pretty, so mine were a little irregular. Always start rolling from the narrower end.
Nice and thin.
Roll ’em up cowboy! 
It helps if you pinch slightly as you go.
Secure with toothpicks (and please don’t forget to REMOVE the toothpicks before eating!)
Roll in bread crumbs… 
Arrange on the baking sheet. (Which mine is naturally lined in…who can finish the sentence? Oh yes. Foil. You’re ALL correct. Good for you!)
Post-baking goodness.
Cheesy-goodness chicken, peas, and rice. 

Scott rated it two helpings, with a very happy grin and lots of head-nods. My stomach was extremely happy, and I probably would have gone for seconds too if I wasn’t attempting another one of those…diet…things…ahem. I’d say two thumbs up!

Tricks of the Trade:
I pretty much showed all the tricks of the trade as I worked through the recipe, but I did leave out one thing. The reason I named it Cheese-Spread Chicken Roll-Ups is because the cheese mixture could easily be spread onto crackers or toast for an amazingly delicious treat. So, if you wanted to kill two birds with one stone, double the cheese portion of the recipe and divide it out into a separate container before you begin layering it on the chicken. Voila! – instant appetizer that will be a great hit at your next party.

Happy Thursday!


2 thoughts on “>Chicken + Cheese Spread = Drool

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