The Fourth of July is generally filled with the pop pop popping of firecrackers: the smokey scent of BBQ and discharged black powder. You may as well cook up a zippy appetizer to complement the theme of the Day and also tantalize your taste buds.
Chicken and Cream Cheese Poppers
12 medium jalapeno chiles
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
12 hickory-smoked bacon slices, cut in half
24 wooden picks
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut each chile in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes.
- Stir together cream cheese, chicken, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Spoon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons chicken mixture into each chile half, spreading to fill cavity. Wrap each half with a bacon piece, and secure with a wooden pick. Place poppers on a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven until bacon begins to crisp and chiles are softened, about 25 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil until bacon is crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.