Something like fried spring rolls but with un-Asian filling, these chicken, cheese and roasted pepper sticks are dipped in beaten eggs and rolled in bread crumbs before they are fried. Extra crispy with a surprising mix of flavors in the filling that is all at once meaty, smoky and creamy.
When I made cheese sticks in the past, I simply de-seeded and cut the bell peppers. Then, I bought a Mexican cookbook and learned about roasting and skinning chilies and bell peppers. Granted that it entails more work but I’m far happier with the texture and flavor of roasted bell peppers and chilies. The smoky aroma, the softer flesh that is just starting to emit its own oil… Ah, it’s wonderful.
On Facebook, Caren shared a link to her cheesy chicken sticks and I just knew I was going to make some. Timely, as it turns out, since making the cheesy chicken sticks would give me a chance to document and photograph the process of roasting and skinning bell peppers.
Note that you can make these cheesy chicken sticks with unroasted and unskinned chili or bell peppers. I’m just a bit finicky these days. However, if you want to know the difference between using fresh and roasted bell peppers, you can always roast and skin them first before using for the filling.
The chicken fillet has to be cut into thin strips and seasoned well.
The cheese and peppers are cut into sticks similar to the size of the chicken strips.
Chicken, cheese and pepper are arranged on a spring roll wrapper.
The wrapper is rolled and sealed, and dipped in beaten eggs.
Next, the bread crumbs. I used panko. With the spring roll wrapper slightly sticky, the bread crumbs easily stick to it.
When all the spring roll wrappers have been filled, it’s time to fry.
After frying, you have your beautiful chicken, cheese and pepper sticks.
Chicken, Cheese and Pepper Sticks
- meat of one small chicken breast
- 100 grams cheese (any variety so long as it can be cut and handled without melting prior to cooking)
- 8 to 10 small spring roll wrappers
- 3 to 4 bell peppers (or chilis if you prefer spicy), preferably roasted and skinned
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or about 3/4 c. of regular bread crumbs
- 1-1/2 cups of cooking oil for frying
Cut the chicken into very thin strips. If you want thicker strips, you will have to precook the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the cheese and pepper into strips about the same size as the chicken.
Arrange about two chicken strips, two cheese strips and two bell pepper strips at the center of a spring roll wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with a little of the beaten egg and roll to seal (see how to wrap spring rolls).
Repeat until all the chicken, cheese and bell peppers have been wrapped.
Dip in the beaten egg. Roll in bread crumbs. Repeat until all the chicken, cheese and roasted pepper sticks are coated with bread crumbs.
Fry in batches in hot oil (not too hot or the bread crumbs will burn before the chicken is cooked through) until golden, about three minutes minute.
Drain on paper towels and cut each spring roll into halves to expose the delicious filling.