I don't have a picture for this recipe. This was a spur of the moment invention when I realized it was 4:30 and I had family coming over for dinner at 6. I looked at what I had in the fridge and threw this recipe together, and it was a hit! I was informed that I needed to post it. It's quick to put together, and great to serve for company since it doesn't need any fussing once you put it in the oven.
4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 8 ounce brick cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried basil
8 chunks of roasted red pepper, roughly 2"x 3" each
8 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp
freshly ground pepper
Place the bacon slices on a baking sheet with a rim and broil for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Slice the chicken breasts in half. Butterfly each half, leaving the very edge still connected. If desired, pound out the thicker half of the breast so that each chunk of chicken is roughly the same thickness.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Stir in the basil and garlic powder as well as a few grinds of pepper.
Spray a 9X13 pan with PAM. On each chicken breast, spoon roughly 2 T. of the cheese mixture onto one side and spread evenly over that side. Layer a pepper piece and a slice of bacon (broken in half) on top of that, then another spoonful of the cheese mixture. Flip the other side over and secure with a tooth pick. (I learned the hard way that it's best to use picks that aren't colored...we had some blue and green spots on our chicken).
Place the chicken breasts in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and broil for 2-3 minutes until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.
**Just me rambling here. I think this'd be great with fresh basil leaves or spinach leaves tucked in. The color and flavor contrast would be lovely.