Monterey Skillet Chicken combines all the best flavors in a single dish – chicken, tomatoes, green onions, barbecue sauce, cheese, and bacon. It’s everything you could crave in a single skillet, and you can get it all on the table in under 30 minutes.
Hey there, friends! We’re almost halfway through May and I’m mercifully done with the CISSP bootcamp I somehow got myself roped into. In my defense, I signed up for it prior to us going into lockdown and not having daycare, so there’s that. But it’s done, and my brain is full, and while I’m motivated to keep studying and take the test, right now, I’m just done.
In the meantime, let’s talk about Monterey Skillet Chicken. Monterey Chicken takes its name from the cheese you grate over the top of it rather than the town in my beloved home state, but still, it conjures up memories of home. It’s fresh tomatoes, green onions, barbecue sauce, chicken, Monterey jack cheese, and bacon – basically everything awesome that I grew up with all in one skillet, quickly cooked, and served up on a plate.
Can you tell I’m homesick much? Lately, it’s been pervasive. I chalk it up to the lockdown and not being able to go anywhere, much less fly 3000 miles across the country to see my family. But something will hit me – a smell, the golden light we’re starting to get in the late afternoons, sipping a glass of wine in the sunshine – and I’ll be transported.
The only thing that would make this pan of deliciousness more perfect is if we cooked it up on the stove my dad has to sometimes kick to get working and served it up along with fresh picked and grilled sweet corn and local wine, and dined at the giant picnic table my dad built under the grape arbor over my folks’ back patio.
I’m grateful we live in the digital age, but sometimes, when my folks send pictures of the warm sunny California afternoons they’re enjoying under that grape arbor or out around their firepit in their large Adirondack chairs, surrounded by lush hedges and mountains and blue California sky, it just hits me in whatever nerve connects to the home impulse in my brain.
All I know is that whenever we’ve signed out of the Army and we’re done moving, we’re not likely headed back to California, but I’m going to do my best to bring a few of the things about it that I grew up with and loved – outdoor living, good wine, delicious and fresh food, gardening, and a sunny afternoon or two where all you do is sit back with a good glass of wine and enjoy – with me. This dish reminds me of those things, and I hope it brings you joy as well.
Monterey Skillet Chicken
- May 20, 2020
- 30 min
- Print this
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 2 large ones cut in half and pounded flat)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 4 tbsp barbecue sauce
- 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 1 roma tomato, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- fresh parsley for garnish
- Step 1
- In a large oven safe skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until crispy.
- Step 2
- While the bacon is frying, pound the chicken breasts to desired thickness and season with salt and pepper.
- Step 3
- Remove the bacon from the skillet and dry on a paper-towel lined plate. Drain off some of the bacon grease but don’t clean out the skillet. In the skillet, brown the chicken on both sides (2-3 minutes per side) to pick up all that bacon taste.
- Step 4
- Pour the chicken stock over the chicken breasts, add the minced garlic, and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook until the chicken is done (4-5 minutes or 165F).
- Step 5
- Turn the oven broiler to low. Spread barbecue sauce on top of each chicken breast. Top with the bacon and cheese.
- Step 6
- Place the skillet under the oven broiler for 1 minute to melt the cheese.
- Step 7
- Top with the chopped tomato, green onions, and avocado and serve immediately.
What kinds of foods bring you home?