Chicken Poppers in a Blanket
Chicken Poppers in a Blanket- A mashup of two popular appetizers with a twist gives us this fun and delicious handheld bite.
January 27, 2021 by Nicole Collins
Have I ever told you guys my hot dog story?
If I have, sorry. If I haven't, here's the cliff's notes version.
Growing up, I lived off of hot dogs and bologna. Hot dogs, beans, onions, and cheese was the first meal I ever learned to make for myself at the young age of 5 or 6. In my opinion, bologna is just a flattened hot dog; and those are basically the only sandwiches I ate for probably the first third of my life.
Then one day in my teen years, I woke up completely disgusted by all things hot dogs. I couldn't eat them. I couldn't smell them. I couldn't look at them. I couldn't even think about them. As a result, I didn't touch a hot dog for at least 20 years.
Two summers ago, I was starting to get curious about hot dogs again. Being a foodie, loaded hot dogs with all the fun and unique toppings really appealed to me. So I was at the bestie's house for a cookout, I asked for a bite of a hot dog, and hot dogs became part of my “ok to eat” list just as quickly as they'd been removed.
Now am I eating hot dogs at every opportunity? NO. I'm not there yet. But, I have recently been totally in love with chicken sausages which have a very similar taste and texture to hot dogs. Chicken sausages feel a little healthier to me, and there's a little more variety because they come in fun flavors. So my newfound love of chicken sausages (by way of my new found like of hot dogs) is exactly what inspired today's recipe.
Today, we're making Chicken Poppers in a Blanket!
These little handheld bites are so fun! We're basically mashing up pigs in a blanket (but switching out pigs with chicken) and jalapeno poppers. And, who doesn't love both of those classic appetizers!
This is one of those recipes where necessity was the mother of invention. I was hangry one evening after work with no dinner plan. I looked in the freezer and saw chicken sausages and jalapeno poppers. I ended up making a chicken dog loaded with cheddar cheese, avocado, and french fried onions with cream cheese jalapeno poppers on the side. And, I had this “AHA!” moment when I took a bite of both at the same time and was in pure heaven with how delicious they tasted together.
Let's start with the popper part of the recipe. There are typically two types of jalapeno poppers: cream cheese filled and cheddar cheese filled. I am definitely on team cream cheese. But since sometimes we see pigs in a cheesy blanket, I went for it and used both! So, we'll halve some jalapeno peppers, scoop out the ribs and seeds, then stuff the cavities with softened cream cheese AND shredded cheddar cheese.
Next, let's talk about the chicken sausages. I'm super in love with the Gilbert's brand of chicken sausages. They come in a bunch of delicious flavors, so I opted for the Aloha flavor for today's recipe. It has a mild sweetness to it that pairs perfectly with the spicy pepper and the savory dough. So, definitely use this flavor if you can find it. If you can't, a chicken sausage with a sweeter flavor like bourbon or apple would be great here; or you could also just use an unflavored chicken sausage. Whichever you end up with, we're going to cut the sausage in half and stuff it right on top of the cheeses in the jalapeno.
For our blanket, we're going to keep things so simple and use store bought crescent dough. I thought about getting fancy and using puff pastry for these; but I asked my friends on Instagram which dough they preferred for pigs in a blanket, and classic crescent dough was the winner! All we need to do is separate out the crescent triangles, place our stuffed jalapenos on the wide side of the dough, and roll to wrap everything up in that glorious dough. Now, these peppers are STUFFED. So, it's ok if they don't sit up straight after you roll them. The sausages definitely make them a little top heavy, but they're just as adorbs if they bake on their side.
Once the poppers are rolled, into the oven they go for about 15 minutes to get golden brown. Then, it's time to eat! The little babes are delicious on their own, but they're really delish served alongside my avocado ranch dip.
Here's what's great about these poppers...we're activating so many tastes in one bite. The sausages are slightly sweet. The peppers are mildly spicy. The cream cheese is soft and cooling. And, that flaky dough is perfectly savory and buttery.
Easy, adorable, and delicious?!?!?! I'd say if you serve these on game day, it won't matter who's playing. Because, you'll be the winner!
Ok, everyone! That's all I've got for today. The game day fun continues on Fri-yay!
Enjoy, and let's eat!
Chicken Poppers in a Blanket
Serves: 8 poppers Print
4 jalapenos, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 chicken sausages, halved (I used Gilbert's Aloha Chicken Sausages)
1 can crescent dough
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Spread about 1 ½ tsp cream cheese into the cavity of each jalapeno. Top with about 2 tsp shredded cheddar and 1 chicken sausage half. Press gently to nestle the chicken sausage into the pepper as much as possible.
Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Starting at the wide end of the triangle, place the stuffed jalapeno, sausage side down on the dough, and roll towards the pointed end to wrap the popper. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining poppers.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until the crescent dough is golden brown. Serve!
*These poppers are REALLY stuffed to the brim. If they fall over on their side while baking, that's totally ok. They still look great, and of course they'll still be delicious.
*I love the Gilbert's brand of craft chicken sausages. I used the Aloha flavor for these. You can also use a plain chicken sausage, or a sausage with sweeter flavors like a bourbon/apple flavor.
*These little babes are delicious on their own, or you can serve them with my avocado ranch dip.