It’s happened again. You bought a package of plain boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you don’t have a plan. You could stick them in the slow cooker or oven, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Or you could make this recipe for million dollar chicken, a juicy, tender, cheesy, and savory dish the whole family will love. I think we both know which one sounds like a better idea.
What Is Million Dollar Chicken?
Million dollar chicken is a dish inspired by Neiman Marcus Dip, a recipe created by chef Helen Corbit in the 1950s. At the time she worked at Zodiac, a restaurant inside the flagship Neiman Marcus Store in Dallas, Texas. She was known for her classy food that delivered big flavor, including Neiman Marcus Dip. It was rich and decadent, made with cream cheese, mayonnaise, bacon, cheddar cheese, and green onions. Over time it became known as million dollar dip—it was just that good.
Million dollar dip is typically served with crackers as an appetizer, but I knew it would be delicious on chicken. After running a few experiments, I figured out the best way to create this dish at home. It’s an easy weeknight main that’s sure to go into your regular rotation.
Tips and Tricks
- Pound the chicken. Pounding the chicken to an even thickness helps it cook quicker and at the same rate. This preserves moisture and prevents chewy, dry chicken. Some butchers will even do this task for you if you ask.
- Preheat the baking sheet. Adding the baking sheet to the oven while it heats up expedites the cooking process. Your chicken will start cooking as soon as it hits the hot surface and this, along with pounding the chicken, helps shorten the cooking time.
- Use thick-cut bacon. Any bacon will do, but thick-cut ensures big bacon flavor. Cook it until it’s crisp and then roughly chop for bacon flavor in every bite.
- Toast the almonds. This is another step you might consider skipping, but don’t! Toasting the almonds brings out their flavor and adds just a warm, sweet flavor that pairs well with the salty bacon and cheeses.
Make It Ahead
Many of the components here can be prepped at least one or two days in advance. Cook the bacon and toast the almonds up to two days in advance. Assemble the million dollar dip topping and also pound the chicken the day before cooking. Refrigerate everything until ready to assemble and bake.
How To Serve Million Dollar Chicken
Million dollar chicken is packed with flavor and pairs well with a simply seasoned veggie or two.
Add a starch: Consider roasting some red or Yukon Gold potatoes alongside the chicken for an easy side dish. Quarter small potatoes and toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the potatoes out in an even layer on a large baking sheet covered with parchment. Start them on the upper rack, while the oven preheats and they’ll be ready by the time your chicken is done cooking.
Add a vegetable: If you’re looking to keep things simple, grab a bagged salad mix to go with million dollar chicken. Choose something basic so as to not compete with the flavors of the dish. A vinaigrette dressing is a great option.
If you need a cooked vegetable, why not roast something? Since you already have the oven on, it makes sense to use it. Broccoli is a natural pairing, but cauliflower or even a blend of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots would be delicious. Choose fresh or frozen and roast them on the upper rack while the chicken is cooking.
Chicken Breast Dinners
- Cheesy Bruschetta Chicken Cutlets
- Taquitos de Pollo (Chicken Taquitos)
- Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich
- Chicken Carbonara
- Juicy Baked Chicken
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place a large baking sheet on the middle rack to heat up as the oven preheats.
Pound the chicken:
Tear off a large sheet of parchment and set it nearby. Place one chicken breast in a zip-top bag, squeeze out the air, and seal. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to pound the chicken to 1/2-inch thickness. Remove the chicken and place on the parchment, then repeat the process with the remaining chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the topping:
Combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl and use a large spoon to stir until smooth. Add the cheddar cheese, bacon, almonds, garlic powder, and half of the green onions and stir to combine.
Add the topping:
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over each piece of chicken. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and set on a stable, heatproof work surface. Lift the edges of the parchment and carefully transfer the chicken to the hot baking sheet.
Bake until the cheese is melted and the internal temperature reaches 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before garnishing with remaining green onions and serving.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or a low oven.
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