As far as cooking goes, I compete. A lot. And I lose. A LOT. Some of what I would consider my greatest and most delicious recipes are huge losers in the competitive cooking world. Others that have won trips and money, I would have NEVER thought would win. You never know what the judges are looking for, and the benefit is that you'll always have dinner on the table and a recipe to share. This dish is one of them.
They're simple chicken tenders, stuffed with goat cheese and figs, wrapped in bacon, and smothered in some delicious, sweet and spicy chipotle cherries. Great for a summer party, pre-season game day, or a simple dinner.
Don't overstuff the bundles. You'll end up with a mess on the grill. Not that I've EVER done anything like that. Someone else told me. Yah.
Goat Cheese & Fig Chicken Bundles with Warm Chipotle Cherries
12 oz. frozen dark sweet cherries
2 tbsp. Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
16 strips of thinly-sliced, pre-cooked bacon
8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
4 oz. goat cheese crumbles
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup fresh figs, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh, chopped Chives, plus 2 tbsp. for garnish
1/4 tsp each salt & pepper
Heat an outdoor grill and side burner to medium-high heat.
In a large mixing bowl combine goat cheese crumbles, cream cheese, chopped figs and 2 tbsp. chopped chives. Season with 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and set aside.
Using a meat mallet with a smooth side, pound out the chicken tenders to about 1/4" thickness.
Place two slices of the bacon on a flat surface. Lay one chicken tender on top of the slices of bacon lengthwise (covering the bacon). Place a large tablespoon of the stuffing in the center of the chicken tender. Roll the chicken and bacon up around the stuffing and insert two toothpicks (one through each slice of bacon) to keep them assembled. Repeat with the other chicken tenders and remaining bacon slices.
Grill the chicken bundles on medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through, and the bacon is crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
While the chicken bundles are grilling, add the frozen cherries, chopped chipotle in adobo, brown sugar and cloves to a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil on the side burner, smashing with a fork or potato masher as you cook. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook on medium heat for another 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces and thickens by half.
To serve: Remove the toothpicks from the grilled chicken bundles. Arrange the chicken bundles on a serving dish. Spoon the warm chipotle cherries evenly on top of the chicken bundles. Garnish with the remaining chopped chives and serve. Makes 8 servings.