Tailgating is one of my favorite things to do with Midlife Road Trip. There’s something about the smell of charcoal, lighter fluid, and grilled meat that just makes me happy. I am always amazed at the quality and creativity tailgaters are able to exhibit in preparing food in a parking lot or on the quad of a college campus. It’s as though there is a competition among some of the tailgaters that is a serious as anything that may take place on a football field. 

My brother has been hosting a tailgate party at the University of Alabama for the last few years. While he usually has much of the food catered, I always like to prepare something on-site. This year I am making Bacon-Wrapped, Chicken-Stuffed Jalapeños! I make these as a snack or side dish at home just about every time I fire up the grill. So far they have been a hit with everyone who has tried ’em and it is sure to be a hit with you and your guests.


2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breast … but when it comes to chicken, I’m a thigh guy)
8 Jumbo Jalapeños
8 slices of thick cut bacon
1 package of cream cheese
16 tooth picks


  1. Cut the top and stem off of each jalapeño.
  2. Cut each jalapeño in half (vertically) and hollow out with a paring knife
  3. If you like heat, proceed to next step. If you don’t like heat, rinse any residual seeds out of each jalapeño.
  4. Use a jalapeño half as a template to cut a piece of chicken. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken then stuff into that half of the jalapeño.
  5. Fill the other half of the same jalapeño with cream cheese.
  6. Put the two halves together and wrap tightly with bacon – starting at the thick end.
  7. Stick a tooth pick through the bacon an both halves of the jalapeño – one at the thick end and one at the small end.
  8. Set grill to medium heat.
  9. Place place the wrapped jalapeños on the grill. 
  10. Monitor the grill closely as the bacon can easily catch fire as the bacon grease drips on to the coals or burners. 
  11. Turn about every 5 minutes for a total of about 20 minutes. 
  12. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken inside each jalapeño. When he temperature reaches 165 degrees, it’s done!
  13. Take a bite and know that there will be food like this in heaven.   
Prepping the jalapeños

Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise, clean out, stuff with chicken and cream cheese!

bacon wrapped jalapeños

Bacon Wrapped, Chicken Stuffed Jalapeños ready for the grill

meat thermometer

Use a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is done

I could honestly eat this every day. I hope to be sharing more of my recipes but in the mean time, Sanderson Farms provides nearly 150 recipes on their website!

What’s your favorite way to cook chicken? 

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