Let's face it, bacon makes everything better, and chicken is no exception! In this recipe, the bacon not only adds great flavor to the chicken, it makes a stunning presentation (worthy of entertaining).
About the flavors: Aside from the marriage of bacon and chicken, there are plenty of other complimentary flavors going on: bacon and cheddar cheese, cheddar cheese and Dijon mustard, and bacon and maple syrup.
Yes, the ingredient list is short, but each component is a key player, creating a dish with complex flavors in every bite.
Want to prep ahead? This dish can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance. Prepare the chicken as instructed below and, before baking, cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate before baking.
Remove the pan from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking (perhaps while the oven is preheating). Remove the cover and spoon over any of the maple-Dijon sauce from the bottom of the pan. Bake as directed below.
Bacon And Cheddar Chicken With Maple-Dijon Glaze
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2. Arrange the bacon on a parchment-lined baking sheet, in a single layer.
Step 3. Roast the bacon for 15 minutes (it will be cooked, but not crisp). Remove the pan from the oven and set aside. Keep the oven at 400 degrees.
Step 4. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
Step 5. Using a sharp knife, make several crosswise slices into the chicken breasts, without cutting through to the bottom.
Step 6. Place the oil in the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or ovenproof skillet. Add the chicken to the pan and brush the top with the maple syrup mixture.
Step 7. Cut the bacon into 2-inch pieces and insert the pieces into the chicken.
Step 8. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.
Bake for 15 minutes, uncovered.
Step 9. Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken.
Step 10. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes, until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through.