Pop Pop Poppers for the Fourth: Chicken and Cream Cheese

In Foodie Tips & Tidbits by Christine McKellar

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


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut each chile in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.