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YIELDS:

4 servings

PREP TIME:

0 hours 35 mins

COOK TIME:

0 hours 40 mins

TOTAL TIME:

1 hours 15 mins

ingredients

4 Chicken thighs

2 Fontina bites, cut in half OR 4 slices of Fontina cheese

4 Slices ham

2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1/4 Cup Honey

1/2 Tsp. Momofuku Crunchy Chili

2 Cups Panko breadcrumbs

2 Eggs, beaten with a little water

1 Cup Wondra flour

Kosher Salt and Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Spray

Maldon Flakey to finish

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet covered in foil with cooking spray. (For easy clean up.)

2. Set up a traditional breading station. Whip two eggs with a splash of water, salt and pepper in a bowl. But Wonder flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a large dish and season with salt and pepper. (Notice that you are seasoning every layer of the breading.)

3. Trim you chicken thighs of any excess fat. Open up the thighs and lay them flat. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of dijon mustard on the inside of each thigh and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a piece of ham (cut or folded to fit the inside) on the inside of the thigh and then top with the fontina piece or slice folded to fit inside the thigh. Roll up the chicken. Do this with all the thighs. You can use a toothpick to secure the chicken closed or just hold it closed while you bread the chicken.  You’ll be placing them seam side down and when they cook, this will hold them together.

4. Roll the chicken package in flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the egg to coat and let excess drip off. Roll in the Panko and place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Proceed with all the thighs.
5. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and up to 2 hours to chill and set.

6. Remove the tray from the oven and spray the chicken with cooking spray to help them brown. Place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken thighs,)  If you want to get them even more brown, put them under the broiler the last two minutes of cooking to make them golden.

7. While the chicken cooks, mix the honey and Momofuku Chili Crunch in a small saucepan and heat gently to make my version of “Hot Honey”. Keep warm on very low heat.

8. Place the cooked chicken thighs on a platter or plate and drizzle with the hot honey. Sprinkle with some flakey salt and enjoy!

NOTES:  This is a big time favorite at dinner.  Crunch on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside.  Don’t worry if some of the cheese oozes out…that’s the best part.  It gets kind of crispy and brown around the edges (a chef’s sneaky taste when no one is looking).

I use these little Fontina bites that I get at the grocery store.  You just cut them in half and put a half in each thigh.  If you can’t find those, sliced Fontina works just fine (as does almost any of your favorite cheeses).  This is my favorite in this dish and it goes really well with the Hot Honey drizzle.

I used to always close my chicken thighs with toothpicks to keep them together and keep the inside from falling out.  Absolutely do that if you want to.  Over the years, I’ve learned that if I carefully hold the chicken together with my fingers while diping it in the flour, egg and breading then carefully place it seam side down on the baking sheet, it naturally “glues together” when baked.  It keeps me from having to fight with the toothpicks at the end.  I found that removing them could sometimes be a challenge and I would up “mangling” the neat little package.  Your choice on how to handle that.

I’ll serve these with a steamed veggie and rice or just a side of my coleslaw (a favorite around here).  You decide.

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