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MILLION DOLLAR CHICKEN BAKE

MILLION DOLLAR CHICKEN BAKE


I roast a lot of chicken. It’s my favorite way to eat a chicken. But this million dollar.Succulent, juicy, insanely flavorful, I could go on, and I will. If you make this, you will subject yourself to an extremely couthless eating experience. Finger sucking, moaning, probably cussing and shaking your knees in anticipation for the next bite. This is by far my favorite way to roast a super sexy chicken.

A MILLION DOLLARS? REALLY?

No, not really. The guy who invented this recipe calls it “million dollar chicken” because it tastes like a million dollars. I’m pretty sure anything you slather with luxurious creme fraiche is going to taste like a million dollars. I remember last Thanksgiving when I chucked a whole 8-ounce container of it into some silky mashed potatoes and nearly cried.

This Million Dollar Chicken Bake is made with a rich and bold flavor combo that can’t be beat! Tender chicken breast is layered with a velvety mixture of two kinds of cheese, bacon, and green onions and baked to tender, juicy perfection!

Easy Chicken Bake
Baked Chicken makes a great dinner option for busy nights because:
•    It’s easy
•    You can make it all in one dish
•    It cooks without babysitting so you can get other stuff done!

The problem is that sometimes it is bland, boring, and even can be tough or chewy.
Sound familiar?
This Million Dollar Chicken Bake is rescuing chicken breast destined for boring chewy baking everywhere! If you have ever had Million Dollar dip, you know what I am talking about. If not, you are in for a treat.
It is packed with flavor, baking right in a rich and creamy sauce. The best part is that not only is it delicious, but it can go from the fridge to the oven in as little as 10 minutes! Easy AND Delicious!

What to Serve with Baked Chicken

This dish is packed with flavor and pretty rich in its own right so I like to pair it with side dishes that are lighter generally. Of course it goes well with all of the classics, but also pairs well with healthy favorites.
•    Side salad with Ranch Dressing (this ranch is TO DIE FOR!)
•    Roasted veggies
•    Skillet Green Beans
•    Garlic Bread – My kids ask for this every time!
•    Mashed Potatoes – Plop that chicken right on top!
•    Rice
•    Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
•    Buttermilk Cornbread
You can pair it with one or pick a few for a well rounded, wholesome dinner, or to make the meal stretch.

 Recipe Tips

This Million Dollar Chicken Bake is simple as promised! Fridge to oven in as little as 10 minutes and just 6 ingredients.
That said, I want to share a few tips to help you get the absolute best, most tender and juicy baked chicken dinner. Hopefully this will answer any questions that may come up along the way, and give you a leg up making this recipe!
Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the FULL recipe card.

INGREDIENTS

The ingredients are simple and straight forward here, and most are common, everyday fridge/pantry ingredients.

•    2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly cut or pounded.Chicken breast- Try to use thin chicken breast, or cut them in half (butterfly) or pound them out. Thin chicken breasts will cook more quickly and evenly, as well as, stay more tender!
•    6 oz Cream cheese- Make sure it is softened so everything will combine well.
•    1.5 cups colby jack cheese shredded
•    ¼ cup Mayonnaise
•    1/2 cup crispy bacon crumbled (about 8 slices) Bacon- You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer, or buy precooked bacon. I like to heat it in the microwave or skillet once am ready to use it to get it nice and crispy, fresh again.
•    1/2 cup green onions chopped (about 4 onions)

Substitutions:

Chicken- You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs or tenderloins for chicken breast
Cream Cheese- Light cream cheese can be used
Colby Jack- You can use cheddar or mexican blend if needed.

INSTRUCTIONS

•    The First Step ,Preheat the oven to 350˚F
•    In a medium sized bowl, mix cream cheese, mayo, bacon crumbles, green onion and half of the cheddar cheese together until combined.
•    Place the chicken breast in a baking dish and spread the cheese mixture over the chicken. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
•    Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165˚F internal temperature)
•    Garnish with additional bacon and green onions and serve hot!

HOW LONG TO BAKE CHICKEN

The key to getting that tender juicy chicken is all in the baking!
Chicken breast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚F. Once it starts getting hotter, it will start getting more tough and chewy.
This is why I recommend cooking with thin chicken breasts. It allows the chicken to come to the temperature more quickly. When you have thicker (or even normal sized) chicken breasts the outside has to cook longer for the middle to be done.
The best way to get perfect chicken is to use a food thermometer. You can get them inexpensively at most super stores, grocery chains, and even amazon. If you don’t have (or want) one, you can still do it without, you just need to keep an eye on it to make sure you don’t over cook it.
Depending on the size of your oven, how it is powered, and the climate and altitude you live at, as well as the thickness of your chicken breast, the cooking time can change. I will share some best practices though to get you started.
I cook this dish on the middle rack of my oven at 350˚F uncovered. It generally takes about 35 minutes to be done.
This can range from 30-40 on average. The only way to know exactly when it is done, is with a food thermometer, but you can cut in the middle and check to see if it is done if you don’t have one.

Recipe Variations

I always encourage you to make the recipe as written first. However if you love this recipe and want to mix it up a bit, you can try these fun twists on this chicken bake.

•    Skinny Million Dollar Chicken Bake- Substitute light cream cheese, light mayo and reduce the colby jack cheese mixed in by 1/2 cup. This will reduce the calorie and fat content in the dish.

•    Ranch Chicken Bake- Mix 1 tbsp ranch mix into the cream cheese mixture for a fun new flavor combo!

•    Spinach & Chicken Bake- Mix 12 oz frozen spinach that has been thawed with extra moisture squeezed out, into the cream cheese mixture.

•    Million Dollar Baked Chicken and Potatoes- Use a larger baking dish and place baby red or gold potatoes that have been cut in half and tossed in olive oil, salt and garlic powder around the chicken. You must use small potatoes for them to cook at the same rate as the chicken.

Freezer Meal Instructions


If you want to prepare the Million Dollar Chicken for another night, you can prep it as a freezer meal. It can be prepared and frozen for up to 3 months.

1.    Lay the chicken flat in a baking dish or freezer friendly container.
2.    Combine the cream cheese, mayo, bacon crumbles, 1/2 colby jack cheese, and green onions and mix to combine.
3.    Spread the mixture over the chicken breast and freeze. Extra cheese and bacon for topping can be frozen separately.
4.    Once ready to make, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator.
5.    Add remaining cheese to top and bake as directed.

 Leftover Recipes


If you have any of this delicious chicken leftover, then you are in luck! Package it up and place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

•    Million Dollar Chicken Grilled Sandwiches– Slice the leftover chicken and place between to slices of good white bread. Spread the creamy topping on one side of the bread, add fresh spinach leaves and close the sandwich. Grill the sandwich in a buttered skillet over medium heat on each side until golden.

•    Baked Chicken Stuffed Peppers– Chop the leftovers of the millionaire chicken. Mix equal parts chicken with prepared rice. Stuff the mixture into bell pepper halves with the seeds and ribs removed. Top with extra cheese. Bake in a large baking dish covered for 25-35 minutes or until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through.

•    Million Dollar Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes- Prepare baked potatoes. Split open and season with salt and pepper. Chop leftover million dollar chicken and stuff inside the potato. Top with cheese and extra bacon and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and the filling is heated through. Top with sour cream and extra bacon and green onions.

•    Million Dollar Chicken Rice (or Cauli Rice) Bowls– Prepare rice or cauliflower rice. Chop and reheat leftover chicken. Pile in on one side of the bowl. Place your choice of chopped spinach, diced sweet red bell pepper, black beans and additional chopped green onions, around the bowl. Drizzle with ranch dressing and enjoy!

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