You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a chicken fan. There is actually a really good reason for that! Growing up we had backyard chickens -WAY before some urban cowboy stuck a hen in a backyard playhouse and called himself a farmer.
They were not PETS.
They had no names.
There was a large block of wood behind the barn and hatchet hanging inside the barn.
When a hen stopped laying she became Sunday dinner.
With that aside, I grew up in Sussex County, DE – Chicken Capital USA. The Commodore grew up on a chicken farm and I was no stranger to helping out in the chicken houses. After we married, we lived in the lovely farming hamlet of Gumboro DE where every person was outnumbered by chickens 10000 to 1 any day of the week. I say it was a hamlet because it was really a wide spot in the road – we didn’t have a post office or sidewalks.
Best place in the world to raise kids – we lived in the middle of a hundred-acre cornfield.
So chicken and I have a deep relationship. It’s real.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may make a small commission at no cost to you. For my full disclosure go here.
What is Hasselback Chicken?
I’m sure you’ve heard about how to prepare Hasselback Potatoes. You take a potato and make slices in it about a quarter-inch apart but don’t slice through all the way. When you’re done, the sections fan out and you can season and add all sorts of yummy butter and cheese and bake them.
Okay, now get that image out of your head because you can’t have any. You’re Keto – remember!?!?
I’m sorry. That was a dirty trick.
You CAN have Hasselback CHICKEN instead!
It’s perfectly on plan AND it’s good for you!
Take THAT, Tater.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
A-hem. Sorry about that. I had to get that out there.
But First, Few Tips
Take two plastic cutting boards (the kind that can go in the dishwasher) – or other objects that stay flat and are an equal height – and lay them flat on the counter, side by side, a couple of inches apart. Since you’re dealing with raw chicken you should cover your countertop first or be sure you clean it very VERY well afterward. Put your chicken breast in the space between the boards and make your slices. That will keep you from slicing all the way through. You want the slits to be 1/2 inch apart and cut about 3/4 of the way through.
Use a SHARP knife.
Partially frozen (or for the optimists out there – partially thawed but still firm) breasts will be sturdier for slicing. Be careful with the knife!
Prep a few chicken breasts with this method before freezing (or prep and season them, add some butter and cheese – then freeze). Time saver!!
Don’t cut all the way to either end. Instead, leave an inch or so on each end because it gets a little trickier the closer to get to the ends.
Don’t skimp out and buy delicate breasts. Get thick ones so you can stuff ’em good. You want your slits deep enough to hold the filling!
Adding a little broth to your pan will help your breasts stay moist in the oven.
Ready For a Plain Cooking Hasselback Chicken Faux Recipe?
If you’ve read any of my posts you know I’m an old school
experimenter cook who operates on the feel method. If I feel it won’t kill anybody I’ll try it once.
It’s a Faux Recipe because it isn’t really a recipe. It’s a lofty way of saying you cook you. Okay, not quite. Just cook with things you like.
Hate goat cheese but love mozzarella? Use that.
Want to try this with boneless chicken thighs? Get your thigh on.
See what I mean?
Here ya go:
Gather your ingredients – your favorite seasonings, cheeses, stuffings.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get out your meat thermometer.
Recall my tips above ^^^ and prepare your chicken accordingly.
Keeping your chicken piece “closed”, sprinkle with your seasonings all over.
Open up your chicken in a fan so you can sprinkle your seasonings inside the cuts.
Stuff the cuts with whatever you’d like – cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, etc.
Bake until your thermometer reads 150-155 (about 25 to 30 minutes but go by the thermometer for safety! It all depends on the thickness of your breasts.), remove from the oven and let it sit. It will keep cooking (that’s called residual cooking for those of you at home keeping score of proper terms) so let it sit for 10 minutes or so to let the juices redistribute and the temp to come up near 165.
If you don’t want to heat up the house with the oven you can cook it in a skillet until it’s cooked through.
<<< end my feeble instructions >>>
You can always add a sauce – personally, I love Bearnaise Sauce. I could eat that stuff right out of the bowl like ice cream! (I still remember the first time I had it. Note to self: don’t try new things at a hoity-toity company Christmas dinner. It might not end well – although this time it did.)
Hey, that reminds me of something else! You could do this to a nice thick filet mignon for a super special dinner. (Bake it at 450 on a super hot oven-proof pan and use your thermometer because time will depend on the thickness and how you like it cooked. Mine only needs to kiss the pan. Not like a long Hollywood kiss. More like a peck you give your ancient Aunt Mabel because you have no choice because she’s grabbed you and said, “How about a little smooch for you old Auntie Mabel?”. Watch out for her dentures.
You could spoon a little sugar-free pizza sauce into the cuts and stuff with mozzarella and pepperoni – or whatever you like on pizza.
You could add cheese and ham to the cuts for an easy cordon bleu.
Parmesan, a little caesar dressing – maybe a little bacon?
Some low carb honey mustard dressing, bacon, and Colby jack cheese for an Alice Springs Hasselback Chicken?
Make this your own.
Ready for Some Real Recipes for Hasselback Chicken?
Alrighty, for those of you who don’t like to wing it, I’ve gathered a few real recipes. 7, in fact, because I love the number 7.
Here are some other 7’s posts:
Smothered Hasselback Chicken from Simple Healthy Kitchen has all the makings of a perfect – and SUPER easy – dinner and it’s pretty enough for company or a special meal with your sweetie!
Here is an awesome Hasselback Chicken with Mozzarella and Spinach from Low Carb Spark – it’s stuffed and cheesy and makes me want to lick my monitor. She includes oven and stove-top directions too!
Oh, my GOODNESS! Check out this Cajun Stuffed Chicken from Delish! Even though it doesn’t have Hasselback in the title it’s the same style.
Hasselback Fajita Chicken from Nutritionist Reviews is beautiful! Eat all the colors! Make sure the oil you use is approved for the plan you follow.
I just had a lovely Caprese Salad last night – so simple! – so this Hasselback Chicken Stuffed With Mozzarella, Tomato, and Basil from Walking on Sunshine really brightens up my day!
Oh YES! This Ham & Smoked Mozzarella hasselback Chicken from Low Carb Maven is perfect for a night in instead of a night out!
I LOVE savory recipes and can’t wait to try this Mushroom-Onion Hasselback Chicken from Paleo Hacks. It’s like Thanksgiving in July! Adjust the amount of onion if you need to.
There you have it! Any favorites? Let me know!
When your budget can handle it, here are a few cookbooks to make it more interesting: