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Dorothy Dean presents: bacon-wrapped chicken breasts

Bacon wrapped. Need I say more?

I don’t know about you, but anything involving bacon has me swooning.

This particular dish is meaty, rich and satisfying. Tender chicken is stuffed with a cheesy, rich filling and encased in crisp, salty bacon.

If your chicken breasts are overly thick, you can pound them out a bit to make more room for the stuffing. And speaking of stuffing, you like spicy? Add some chopped jalapeños.

Not a fan Gouda or Swiss cheese? Trade it out for cheddar or whatever cheese floats your boat. And if you’re a barbecue lover, kick it up a notch and baste the bacon in your favorite barbecue sauce.

Bacon-wrapped chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup smoked Gouda or Swiss cheese, grated

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup ham, finely diced

Salt, pepper and your favorite spice mix, to taste

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

12 bacon slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees or turn grill to medium-high heat.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, then add in spinach and garlic. Sauté until spinach is just wilted. Cool and squeeze out excess water from spinach. Put spinach into medium mixing bowl and stir in the cheese, cream cheese and the ham. Add salt (just a tad) and pepper to taste.

With a sharp knife, cut a slit through the side of each chicken breast, making sure not to pierce through to the other side. Stuff each chicken breast generously with the spinach mixture.

Season each breast with your favorite spice mix, salt and pepper. Starting from one end of the stuffed breast, spiral wrap the bacon around it, completely covering the outside. Use toothpicks, if necessary, to secure the bacon.

Place on foil-lined baking sheet and put in oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165. Set oven to broil, and broil until bacon is browned and crisp. If grilling, place chicken breasts directly on the grill grate and grill, turning once or twice, until the bacon is crisp and golden brown.

Let rest for 3-5 minutes. Remove any toothpicks and serve.

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