In the last several years America has suddenly decided that it's finally time to get healthy. So people are going from one extreme to the other with their eating habits. Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, etc.....And there was a time when Paula Deen ruled the world of Southern cooking. Her butter-filled, cream-cheese infused, greasy, fattening dishes have suddenly, in America's eyes, gone from delicious to disgusting. People blame her for obesity, etc. (okay maybe not really, but I know she has gotten a bad rep!) I just have to say that Mrs. Deen is not as horrible as some people seem to think. The proof is in the fact that both of her sons have become successful cooks as well and have published several cookbooks --one of which is a cookbook I used to use frequently, but then neglected for awhile. On a whim, I flipped through it the other night and ended up centering my entire week's menu around it. First of all, let me say that more than half the recipes are legitimately healthy meals. Yes, of course there are plenty of Southern dishes that are going to have your butter and cream cheese and create plenty of grease, but the meals I chose for the week are all reasonably healthy! (meaning their mother wasn't such a "bad influence" after all!) If you haven't seen this cookbook yet, I'd encourage you to check it out for yourself. It has some great dishes in it.
Bacon-wrapped Chicken with Chipotle-Cheddar cheese sauce:
1 package of chicken tenderloins (actual recipe calls for chicken breasts cut in half, but this was easier and I didn't have to cut the chicken)
6-8 slices of bacon
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/3 cup milk
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs ground chipotle peppers** (the recipe calls for 2 tsp chipotle pepper sauce, but I didn't have that)
**the ground peppers can be very spicy so if you're sensitive to spicy I'd use less than a tablespoon
Wrap the pieces of bacon around each chicken tender and lay on a foil-lined baking sheet (I sprayed the foil). Bake on 400 for 15-20 minutes, then set oven to broil and cook for additional 4-5 minutes. (the kitchen was VERRRRY smoky so just keep an eye out). Meanwhile, stir together and heat the soup, milk, Worcestershire and peppers in a saucepan on the stove. Heat until simmering then cover to keep warm. Drizzle over the chicken before serving. The cheese sauce was very spicy and a little thick because I think I let it cool too much.
Enjoy! And long live Paula Deen!