With football season already here, I know how difficult it can be to find yummy appetizers that will appeal to everyone! Trust me! There are healthier food choices out there that actually taste good! I mean... yeah... I still love buffalo hot wings, a yummy bowl of chili with all the fixings, burgers, sub sandwiches, chips, etc but I have found some pretty tasty alternatives to my favorite party foods. This is one of them! Jalapeno poppers! I just love those spicy jalapenos mixed with melting cheese and creamy goodness from the Greek yogurt and cream cheese. The added chicken packs this dish with extra protein and makes it more filling.
What makes this dish even better is that you can prep your chicken ahead of time. Prepping your chicken ahead of time makes this dish so easy to put together right before game time! No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen during the game! Come on! You can always buy a rotisseries chicken from the grocery store. Remove the skin and bones and shred it up but I like to make my own because I can control the amount of salt that goes into those suckers. Plus, I kinda want to know what is in the chicken I am eating.
My favorite way to cook chicken breasts is in the slow cooker. The slow cooker allows the chicken breasts to get really moist as long as you do not over cook it. This is how I make my shredded chicken breasts:
I take a large package (about 3 pounds) of chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins and defrost the chicken.
I have heard some people put frozen meats into the slow cooker and have lived to tell the tale, but I don't do it because I will probably be the lucky one who gets food poisoning. You can cook frozen meats in the slow cooker. It will work, but the question is whether it is safe. Slow cookers do not get frozen meats up to a safe temperature (about 140 degrees) evenly or quickly enough. The meat will spend too much time between 40 to 140 degrees and that is where bacteria can flourish. Eeeewwww! This could be a problem for people who are at higher risk for food borne illness such as older people, pregnant women, and kids.
Just a little food for thought :) Ha ha... get it? Yeah... not funny... anyways... the choice is up to you of course. If you have always done it and never got sick, good for you! Me? I just might not be so lucky. No, I am not pregnant :)
Okay... where was I?
2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chicken breasts or tenderloins
2 cups or 1 can of low sodium chicken broth
Spices of your choice (I like salt, pepper and garlic powder)
I season the defrosted chicken and then place them in the slow cooker.
Pour 2 cups of chicken broth over the chicken.
Cook on low for about 5 hours or until done.
Most recipes say 6 to 8 hours on low but I find my breasts get really dry. I do find that my slow cooker cooks pretty quick.
Then I drain the chicken and shred the chicken with two forks. All done! Now you have enough chicken for a few meals!
I weigh out 6 ounce portions of chicken with my food scale and then place the portions into Ziploc baggies. Usually I put a few bags in the fridge and then put the rest of the baggies in one gallon sized freezer Ziploc bag for later. I just can't eat chicken everyday because I like variety, but these little baggies are great when I am craving chicken or when I need them for a recipe.
This recipe calls for 12 ounces of cooked chicken so I used my awesome scale to do all the measuring for me. Not to mention if you try to eyeball how much chicken you think you should have, it may not be accurate. You may be cheating yourself of some much needed protein or you may be eating too much.
I absolutely love my scale and I have been through quite a few. This one weighs in the usual grams, ounces, and pounds, but it can also weigh liquids in cups or milliliters. Pretty cool! It also has a flat sleek surface which makes it easy to clean. If you are interested, I got it on Amazon for $19.99.
Now that you have your chicken measured out, you can add all the other ingredients except add only half the cheese. The rest we are going to save for the topping.
Give it a good stir! Wouldn't want any pieces to feel left out!
Pour the mixture into a baking dish. Spread it out evenly.
Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Cheese makes everything better!
I couldn't wait to try it!
The entire dish makes 4 servings. I took out my portion and put it in my own personal ramekin and gave everyone else the rest.
I even had my own personal chips which were cut up sweet mini peppers. Gosh those darn veggies are addictive! Admittedly, I have only tried them recently as beef nachos and I have been in love with them ever since! So yeah... I have a problem with sharing. Get your own! :)
This dish would also make delicious wraps because they have a thick consistency like chicken salad. Most common types of lettuce used for wraps are iceberg and butter lettuce but Boston, green leaf or romaine are also good choices.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have! Enjoy!
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Dip
12 ounces cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded (2 Leans)
3/4 cup Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt (1/2 Lean)
1/4 cup regular cream cheese (4 Healthy Fats)
5 slices turkey bacon cooked and crumbled (1/2 Lean)
3 ounces canned jalapenos, diced (3 Condiments)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp onion powder (1 Condiment)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (2 Condiments)
1 cup shredded 2% sharp cheddar cheese, divided (1 Lean)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine shredded chicken, yogurt and cream cheese in a medium sized bowl.
Add crumbled turkey bacon, diced jalapenos, garlic powder, onion powder,
Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
Stir until everything is combined. Pour mixture into a baking dish.
Top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted.
4 Servings with 1 Lean, 1.75 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat per serving
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