Boneless, skinless chicken breast is the base of this dish, though chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) would also work. The chicken is cut into easily managed pieces and stuffed with goat cheese, which adds a creamy and tangy element to the dish that is a nice surprise in the center of the juicy chicken. To keep it all together it’s then wrapped in bacon, skewered, and grilled. The smokiness of the bacon is enhanced by the grilling process as well as the hint of smoked paprika in sweet apricot sauce that’s used to finish the dish.
This sauce is the magic ingredient that pulls the whole dish together; it's sweet and slightly tangy, with a hint of smoke similar to a well-developed barbecue sauce. However this sauce is made with only three ingredients so that it comes together quickly and goes great over the top of the chicken. It also makes a great topping for creamy cheeses such as brie, goat cheese, or even cream cheese.
The unique combination of flavors allow this dish to be versatile enough to even be a focal point on a summer cheese board. Combining it with a variety of smoked cheeses, nuts, and crisp vegetables would be a great way to impress your friends. When grilled, the sauce becomes sticky, so these bites might be best served on skewers or toothpicks to keep mess to a minimum and make them easier to enjoy. Once served, this recipe will be a huge crowd pleaser.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Chicken in Apricot Sauce
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 ounces creamy goat cheese
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
In a small saucepan combine the apricot jam, Dijon, and smoked paprika. Cook the mixture, stirring often, over medium-high heat, allowing it to bubble and thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
Cut a slit in the side of each piece of chicken and stuff the cavity with goat cheese. Wrap the chicken with a single slice of bacon, using a skewer or a toothpick to pierce the chicken and bacon.
Place on the grill and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the bacon starts to crisp. Use a brush to spread the apricot sauce over the chicken and flip it over. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat to a serving tray and brush with sauce.