CHICKEN STUFFED WITH BIRDIE'S PIMENTO CHEESE

With the holidays coming, we have a wonderful opportunity to work with collard greens. In this recipe, we're using the collard leaf to hold the pimento cheese in place while the chicken breast cooks. When you cut into the bacon wrapped breast at the table you'll have a delightful, cheesy, saucy surprise.  These can be prepped ahead and frozen, just be sure to thaw before you put it in the oven.


INGREDIENTS
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tub of Birdie’s Pimento Cheese
    (your choice, recommended flavors are Garlic, Jalapeño, or Black Pepper)
8 slices of bacon
4 collard leaves
salt & pepper

PREP
BACON
Place bacon strips on a baking sheet and put in a 350° oven for 15 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and let cool.
COLLARD LEAVES
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Gently fold the collard in half, trim out the stem, being careful to maintain a whole leaf. It will have a “U” shape look when you open it back up. Put the leaves into the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove to paper towels to cool and dry.
CHICKEN BREAST
Place chicken breast on a flat surface and with a sharp knife cut horizontal all the way through for two even pieces. With a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken flat. Be careful not to over work this step, you could shred the meat entirely.

ASSEMBLY
Lay the collard leaf flat, rib side down and with the “U” right reading (the opening will be away from you). Put a spoonful of Birdie’s Pimento Cheese centered in the widest part. Fold the leaf over the pimento cheese, tucking and rolling like a burrito.
Lay the flattened chicken breast out and season with salt and pepper. Put the collar bundle in the widest part. Fold and roll the chicken around the bundle. Pin with a toothpick. Starting at one end, wrap a bacon strip snugly around the chicken bundle, adding the second strip when needed. Pin in place as needed with a toothpick.
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.