Smokey Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken

adapted from: Jamie Cooks It Up!

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. ham, diced

2 green onions, chopped

1 Tbl. minced chipotle chile pepper in adobo

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (I used more)

4 chicken breasts

1/3 c. flour

1 egg, beaten

1 c. panko bread crumbs

1/4 c. olive oil

Combine cream cheese, chopped ham, green onions, minced chipotle chile, salt and smoked paprika; set aside.  Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast starting at the thickest part.  Open up the pocket and stuff with filling.  They will be stuffed full.  Take some toothpicks and fasten the cut sides of the chicken together.  Dip each stuffed chicken breast into the beaten egg, then in the flour, then in the panko bread crumbs, making sure that all sides are coated.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot, add the olive oil and allow to heat up.  Add your chicken to the hot pan.  You should hear a nice sizzle.  Let the chicken brown on both sides.  Transfer chicken breasts to a greased 9x13 baking pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done.    Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then serve (make sure to remove the toothpicks). 

Jenn's Notes:  I cut the filling in half and cooked two chicken breasts.  It made quite a bit of filling and the breasts were stuffed pretty full and got a little messy.  I used thick cut deli ham and I also used more smoked paprika than the recipe called for, because I really like that stuff.  Sometimes the canned chipotle chiles can make your dish pretty spicy, but I didn't think this was too spicy at all.  It was perfect.  Just make sure to remove the seeds from the canned chipotle pepper before you mince it.   The chicken was moist in the inside and crispy on the outside.  I will be making this again!