Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast is a great way to liven up your typical chicken dinner. This easy recipe only has about 15 minutes of prep time, and you can make them in the oven or on the stove.
Why you should make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast
Chicken can get really boring really fast. I mean, who wants to eat plain chicken breast all the time? Or ever? Not me!
Since bacon is one of my favorite things (like most of the world), I decided I'd wrap a piece of chicken in some bacon to make it more exciting. And it does the trick.
What is Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Bacon wrapped chicken is exactly what the name implies: a piece of chicken wrapped in bacon.
This recipe marinates the chicken before cooking to give it a little extra flavor. Then it's wrapped in chicken to give it that unbeatable bacon flavor.
Why this recipe works
The nice thing about using the bacon is that you don't have to add fat to the skillet or baking dish because the bacon adds fat to 1) keep it from sticking and 2) help prevent your chicken from drying out.
If you've ever tried baking chicken, you know it's easy to ruin it because it can dry out by the time it is cooked through. And no one wants a dry chicken breast.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast in the Oven
You have two options with making it in the oven. The first is to just put your bacon wrapped chicken in a casserole dish or on a rimmed baking sheet and bake. This is easier and doesn't require anything extra. For the downside, your chicken might not be as crispy.
The second option in a little more time consuming and requires a cooling rack; however, using a cooling rack helps the chicken cook evenly & make the bacon crispy. Place a cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
My personal preference is the bake in a casserole dish because it is less cleanup and tastes as good. The cooling rack step isn't a necessary step in my opinion, but it's totally up to you what you decide to do.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breast on the Stove
Cooking the chicken on the stove is a little faster, but you do have to pay closer attention to your chicken. The bacon can easily burn before your chicken is cooked all the way through.
Add the chicken breast to a large skillet over medium heat; this helps keep your bacon from burning. Be sure not to overcrowd the skillet; you may have to do this in two batches.
Cook the chicken about 7-10 minutes per side until chicken is done and bacon is cooked. You want to keep an eye on the bacon to make sure it's not burning, so you might need to turn the heat down to medium-low and cook a little bit longer.
Tips for Making Bacon Wrapped Chicken
If you have really thick chicken breast, be sure to pound them with a meat mallet or heavy skillet to get them to even thickness. Otherwise, the chicken will not cook evenly & might make your chicken dry or not done in the middle.
The best ingredients for the recipe
I recommend using center cut bacon in this recipe, so you don't end up with a ton of bacon grease and super greasy chicken. I don't recommend using a super thin cut of bacon because it could end up burning before your chicken is done.
Make Ahead Tips
You can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, the cooked bacon wrapped chicken breast are best in enjoyed immediately after cooking, so I wouldn't do anything to make ahead of time.
If you don't have fresh herbs, you can easily use dried herbs. Same with garlic.
Another option is to use chicken tender or chicken thighs. I haven't tested with either, but the concept is the same. Your cooking time will be a little different time with be a little different -- less time for chicken tenders, more time for chicken thighs -- so I recommend using a meat thermometer to check.
Alternative prep & cooking methods:
I've baked and pan-fried the chicken. I assume you could grill these as well but haven't personally done it. See the FAQ below for tips to grill the bacon wrapped chicken.
Once cooked, store the leftover bacon wrapped chicken breast in the fridge in an airtight container. They should keep for up to 3 days.
To reheat, you can heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until warmed through. To microwave, cover lightly with paper towels and microwave on 50% power for a minute or two, flipping halfway through cook time until heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you cook this bacon wrapped chicken on the grill?
Yes, I think you can cook this on the grill. However, you want to be careful because the bacon grease dripping can cause flareups. I would recommend cooking off of direct heat and using a grill pan to keep the bacon on the chicken when cooking.
Can you make bacon wrapped chicken with chicken thighs?
Yes, you can use chicken thighs in this recipe. Follow the same directions. The cooking time will likely be a little different because chicken thighs generally take a little longer to cook.
What to serve with this dish
Since this is just for protein, you'll need some veggies and carbohydrate sides. I like a salad and some roasted potatoes or cooked grain like rice or quinoa.
If you opt to bake the chicken and want to make an easy side dish, you can roast vegetables and potatoes at the same time. Add some chopped vegetables + olive oil + seasoning to a pan and roast them along with the chicken.
Baked chicken is boring, this bacon wrapped chicken is not. You'll wonder why you ever ate plain chicken after enjoying this tasty chicken!
MORE CHICKEN BREAST DINNER RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
- Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo
- Chicken, Bacon and Spinach Pasta
- Artichoke Salsa and Lemon Chicken
- Mozzarella Chicken and Tomatoes
Bacon Wrapped Chicken
- 4 4-6 ounce chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 slices center-cut bacon
- Put all the ingredients, except bacon & optional rosemary, in a zip top bag or shallow glass or plastic container. Make sure the chicken is coated in the marinade.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 18 hours.
- For each chicken breast, wrap a piece of bacon loosely around the chicken. Repeat with remaining chicken and bacon.
Pan-fry the chicken:
- Add the chicken breast to a large skillet. Be sure not to overcrowd the skillet; you might need to do this in two batches.
- Cook the chicken about 7-10 minutes per side until chicken is done and bacon is cooked. Enjoy!
Roast the chicken:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Optional: Place a cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
- After wrapping the chicken with bacon, place the chicken breast in a casserole dish, on a rimmed baking sheet, or on the prepared cooling rack.
- Put in the preheated oven and bake 30 minutes. Drain off any excess bacon grease.
- Return to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes until chicken is done. For crispy bacon, turn the oven to broil and broil for 2-4 minutes. Remove from oven, and enjoy!
This post was originally published July 10, 2012. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
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