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I’m often asked about ideas for very simple, tasty ideas that everyone in the family will love (especially the kiddies!) and Monterey Chicken is definitely one of the best! This dish is tasty with a capital T and goes well with many different side dishes, so it’s flexible enough for even the pickiest eater. I hope you enjoy!

Click here to download the recipe sheet: Monterey Chicken

Total Time: 20 min  Serves: 4


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4-6 slices of crisp bacon
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (optional)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


Begin by pounding the chicken breasts so they are relatively uniform in thickness. Lots of people use plastic wrap to pound out their chicken, but I prefer wax paper (there’s just something about pounding plastic into my food that seems unappealing…). You do not need to pound the mess out of these breasts and get them paper-thin, just focus on the thickest part of each breast and get them to be about as thick as the smaller part of the breast already is.

NOTE: Many people do not own a meat mallet. Although this is a very helpful tool to have in your kitchen arsenal, there are many other tools that can get the job done, such as the bottom of a sauce pan or a heavy can of beans (or something like that). If tenderizing meat is something you only do occasionally, don’t worry about making a special purchase — just grab something heavy and whack away.

Season each of the breasts (on both sides!) with kosher salt and pepper and, if time permits. Let them rest for 10 minutes and come to room temperature, although this is not necessary.

NOTE: I will be sautéing the breasts on the stove, but all you need to do is cook them. Another quick and easy way to prepare them would be on a gas grill or something like a George Foreman grill.

Begin prepping all your toppings. Grate your cheese (or portion out pre-shredded cheese).

Chop your scallions (I prefer using the green ends on this dish, not the white or a combination — save those for some scrambled eggs…).

And cook your bacon. Bacon cookery is a contested topic, but here’s my preferred method for getting super-crispy bacon every time: Place 3-4 strip of bacon between one layer of paper towels on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high a little more than 1 minute per slice (ex: for 3 slices, I would microwave for around 3 1/2 min.).

When you remove the plate from the microwave be careful — it will be very hot. Peel the strips of bacon from the fat-soaked paper towels and place on another paper towel to cool and crisp.

I love bacon!!

Now that you’ve prepared all the good stuff, warm the olive oil and butter together in a large sauté pan over medium heat.

Once the butter has melted into the oil and the pan feels hot (the butter may even start to pop a bit), place the chicken breasts carefully into the pan. Leave the breasts to cook on the first side for 5-6 minutes or until browned. Then flip them and cook them on the second side for around 4 minutes. Do not fear chicken! Most people cook the crap out of chicken and it turns into rubber. Don’t make that mistake…

Yum — brown food tastes good!

Remove the breasts to a roasting pan (spray the pan with cooking spray first, especially if you used a low-fat prep method like grilling). Brush about 2 teaspoons of barbeque sauce onto each breast.

Top each breast with a mixture of both cheeses and crumbled bacon (save the scallions until the breasts have come out of the oven).

Place the roasting pan on the lowest rack of your oven and turn on your broiler to its lowest setting (around 400 degrees) for about 2 minutes. Watch the chicken closely!! You are only trying to melt the cheese, not cook the chicken — cheese can go from melty and bubbly to burned in a few seconds under a broiler.

Once the cheese has melted, take the chicken out of the oven and sprinkle with the chopped scallions.

As I said in the beginning, this chicken is a cinch to make and can be paired with an endless list of side dishes, making it a fantastic family entree. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE to download the recipe sheet.