These bacon BBQ chicken bombs have been on my to-do list for a while now. I was definitely looking forward to making them on my Char-Broil Big Easy, which is about as fuss-free as you can get. Good doesn’t even come close to describing them. Each bite pops with tender, moist chicken, cheese-stuffed jalapenos, bacon and BBQ sauce.
Don’t fear the jalapenos if you’re not into spicy foods. They mellow out a lot while cooking. If you’re still not sure about using them, you can substitute poblanos. Just halve them lengthwise, remove the seeds, then halve them again depending on how big the peppers are. You’ll still get that great pepper flavor but without any heat. These bacon BBQ chicken bombs may seem to be complicated to make on the Char-Broil Big Easy, but they are not. You’re just pounding out some chicken breast, wrapping it around cheese-stuffed jalapenos, rolling it up and wrapping it in bacon. Then onto the Big Easy until done, basted with BBQ sauce, and devoured. That’s it. They’re highly addicting. I recommend making extra because they’re just as good leftover.
Bacon BBQ Chicken Bombs on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 10 bombs
Note: You'll need at least one Bunk Bed basket for your Big Easy, or even two, or you might have to cook these bombs in batches.
5 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin (about 1/4") Note: You can also substitute chicken tenderloins
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
5 large jalapenos, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
20 slices bacon
1 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
Note: You want each piece of chicken to be approximately the width of the length of the jalapenos.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and cheddar.
Spoon the cheese mixture into each jalapano half.
Working in batches, place the jalapenos onto the chicken and roll up. Place seam-side down when done so they don't unroll. If you're chicken pieces are too big you might have to trim them a bit.
Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each rolled chicken. Tuck ends under the bacon to seal. The first few might not be pretty, but once you get a hang of it they're fun to make. And they'll taste great no matter what when they are done!
Fire up your Big Easy.
Add the chicken bombs to the Big Easy basket (and bunk bed basket(s) if using). Do not let them touch. If you have to, cook them in batches.
Lower the basket into the Big Easy and cook for 20-30 minutes, basting with the BBQ sauce every 10 minutes. Note: I use a very long basting brush to get down inside the basket and get the sauce on all of the chicken bombs. Be careful to not burn yourself. If you can't reach them, just baste them after they are cooked.
Remove and check for doneness (165 F) on all cooking levels.
Don’t be fooled by the lightly charred chicken exterior. Inside is fantastically moist, tender, flavor-packed chicken. Just like you always get on your Char-Broil Big Easy. Marinated in Cajun seasonings, and ready in less than an hour. Perfect sliced. Perfect cubed over salads. Perfect picked up and devoured. I used the regular ole basket that comes with the Big Easy. You can fit 4 decent-sized chicken breasts in the basket, but you might have to stand them on end. That’s fine. Just don’t let them touch too much or they won’t cook evenly.
The marinate is just a tad bit spicy, but even the most heat-fearing folk will like it.
You can take a big ole chicken, season it, and drop it into a Char-Broil Big Easy and in no time (15-20 minutes per pound, usually), have a fantastically tender, juicy, flavorful bird. And I cook chicken in my Big Easy just like that, and often. This time, though, I decided to go the beer can route, using a flavor-packed apple ale to infuse even more flavor and moisture into the chicken. The end result was delightful with a hint of apple and as always, the crispiest skin you’ve ever had. If you’re not a beer person, you can substitute a good apple cider or juice instead. If it doesn’t come in a can just drink up a can of your favorite drink and pour the beer or cider or whatever into the empty can.
Be careful when you remove the chicken from the Big Easy. The beer is hot (mighty hot!) and you don’t want to slosh it onto yourself. And make sure you’re also careful when you go to remove the can. Same story: hot.
Sure, I’ve made bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers on my Char-Broil Big Easy. A lot of times. And I love them. But not everyone loves a little kick in their appetizers like I do, so that’s when these sausage-stuffed peppers take the stage. The peppers get a nice little char on them. They have a little sweetness to them. The sausages bring a wonderful smokiness, and they kind of ‘pop’ when you bite into them. That’s a bit unexpected. The cream cheese? Well, it’s creamy. All wrapped in bacon goodness with a sprinkle of rub. I used the rub for my Big Easy root beer can chicken on these sausage-stuffed peppers. The rub has a little smoky flavor to it, along with a bit of garlic and just a very, very small hint of spiciness. Not enough to offend those that prefer mellower snacks.
I’m always on a search for ways to add more cooking capacity to my Char-Broil Big Easy. I started with my homemade Wingin’ator 3000, which works great but you do have to make it yourself. Then Char-Broil came out with a cooking rack that gave you 5 cooking levels. Sadly, the rack wasn’t available for sale for long. A reader of Life’s A Tomato mentioned something to me the other day that should’ve occurred to me long ago: you can use two of the Char-Broil Bunk Bed Baskets at once, giving you 3 cooking levels! Doh! It’s as easy as it looks. Grab the basket that comes with your Big Easy and just lower two bunk bed baskets down into it, securing it with the handles on the sides. You’ll need to offset the two baskets by 90 degrees, otherwise the handles from the lower basket will interfere with the top basket. You can kind of see that in the picture on the right, above.
You’ll get about 3″ of cooking room on each level, plenty for wings or drumsticks. You can fit up to 6 chicken breasts on too, if they aren’t too huge. All in all, it’s a win-win!
The nice thing about this approach is that all of the baskets are dishwasher-safe, readily available, and easy to use. You don’t get quite as much cooking room as with a Wingin’ator 3000 or the (now unavailable) cooking rack, but 3 levels is plenty for a good cookout!
As much as I use my Char-Broil Big Easy to cook up fantastic chicken, I also use it just as much for side dishes. This roasted cauliflower came out absolutely delicious. Tender and flavor-packed, with just a hint of smokiness from the bacon. And as with anything I cook on my Big Easy, it was easy to make.
Make sure when you pick out the head of cauliflower at the store that you don’t get a really big one or it won’t fit into the Big Easy. Shoot for one that is about 8″ wide. For a little kick don’t be afraid to add a few pinches of dried red pepper flake to the chicken broth as you cook the cauliflower. It won’t be overwhelmingly hot, but it’ll give you a slight hint of heat.
You can roast cauliflower in the standard basket that comes with the Big Easy or a bunk bed basket (lined with foil to keep the liquid in), or the Big Easy cooking rack.
The Char-Broil Big Easy does a phenomenal job cooking poultry. You don’t even have to get all fancy with it, but sometimes I like to do a little extra and make a beer (or soda) can version of my favorite whole roasted chickens. This root beer can chicken came out fantastic. I used a slightly spicy but simple rub, and a good canned root beer. Moist and tender meat with great flavor. I couldn’t have been happier. The flavor from the root beer is subtle, but there. Use a quality root beer. If you can’t find one in a can, just empty (er… drink) a can of soda or beer and add the good root beer in.
There’s nothing complicated about cooking a whole chicken on the Big Easy. You can pretty much count on it taking 15 minutes per pound unless it’s really windy out. Of course you’ll still want to poke it with an instant-read thermometer to make sure it gets about 165 F, but I’ve cooked probably 50 chickens on my Big Easy and counting on 15 minutes per pound has never failed me.