Friday, June 1, 2012

Texas Armadillo Eggs - Have Grill Will Travel

Sometimes Havin' A Plan, Especially a Plan for Leftovers Makes Life Easy.

Armadillo Eggs - Low Carb, Gluten Free and so good you
wouldn't give a hungry dog a bone! No sharesies!
This is a leftover love story. What I really mean is this is a love story about leftovers. Done correctly, "leftover" is not a four letter expletive! I actually love leftovers when they can be disguised and morphed into a completely different dish!

No. The chicken breasts in this story aren’t leftover! But the Armadillo Eggs themselves are meant to be leftover. So make lots, okay?

Armadillo Eggs taste divine in their own right, but used in the next recipe comin’ your way, well they become transcendent. You might just cry from taste bud overload.

But why are they called Armadillo Eggs, you might ask? Good question from the little lady in the first row. They’re big. Very big. And they’re egg shaped. And I don’t have a lot of creativity. Meh. And the name amuses the ‘boys.’ So they’re Armadillo Eggs.

Bacon wrapped Armadillo Eggs by any other name
will still taste as sweet or so Bill Shakespeare
was heard to say one day at the Alamo. This is a true story.
Now, everybody and their brother have made jalapeno poppers before. If you’ve been low carbin’ longer than say, a week, you’ve made poppers.  I guarantee! And if you’ve visited Texas in the past ten years and eaten at a TexMex restaurant, chances are you’ve eaten Chicken or Shrimp Brochettes.

A Brochette is a piece of meat wrapped around a hunk of jalapeno with a piece of cheese stuck inside with it and the whole thing is wrapped in bacon. They are usually grilled. They are usually delicious.

Armadillo Eggs are very large, Texas sized jalapeno poppers with meat – usually chicken. Cuz face it; chicken in non-chickular form will always whoop any other chicken in its standard, recognizable form. And sure, you could call Armadillo Eggs brochettes, but they have more cheese and more peppers and are much bigger than your average brochette.

Ginormous Texas-sized Jalapenos, Cinderella could a used
one of these puppies for her coach!
Texas has a jalapeno developed over at A&M that is larger than the average bear and is a bit milder than its smaller cousins. It's ginormous – a real brute!  That’s the kind of jalapeno used in this recipe. I like the BIG old jalapenos, cuz they’re easier to work with and give a hint of heat without knockin’ anybody’s mouth and tongue into next week. It’s a simple equation: More Room = More Cheese Stuffing = Crowds Cheering.

Feel free to use any kind of cheese your little heart desires, but I was low on energy when I made these and didn’t even try to spice up the goat cheese. The simple version turned out just as great.

Among the cheeses & fillins Fluffy Chix Cook in Armadillo Eggs -
1. Cream cheese with fresh garlic, chives and parsley
2. Pimiento cheese with cream cheese and pimientos and a splash of Worcestershire
3. Stuffed green olives with cream cheese
4. Cream or goat cheese with green onion
5. Goat cheese with telecherries
6. Half goat or cream cheese and half cheddar or Monterey jack

Each version brings a different flavor profile. And each version is delicious. It all depends on your mood that day and on how much trouble you want to go to in order to spice up the cheese.

Out of chicken? Use sausage! Use beef, use squirrel - it's
open season in our backyard for those destructive little bastages.
Own this recipe, too! Make it yours! Change up the fillings and change up the meat! To me, it’s kinda like puttin’ lipstick on a pig! The pig is still gonna taste danged awesome once it’s cooked, even if you didn’t purty her up before going to the woodshed with her.

Feel free to make Armadillo Eggs in the oven if you choose or if you don’t have a grill. I rarely make them that way, so don’t have any definite advice for you. I’m pulling this from memory, so just know my memory is often faulty. My guess would be, cook the armadillo eggs at 350° for about 20-30 minutes.

The juices must run clear and that means the internal temperature of the chicken should register around 175°. If the bacon still isn’t browned by that time, then hit them with the broiler just long enough on each side to brown the bacon – about a minute per side at the maximum.

Armadillo Eggs taste great with a side salad and
zucchini linguini sauteed quickly with garlic in olive oil.
Armadillo Eggs

Serves – 4 with Leftovers
Prep Time – 15 Minutes
Cook Time – 20-25 Minutes on the Grill
20-30 Minutes in the Oven

Difficulty - Hmmm. This is tough. It includes working with hot peppers and fire. Maybe a Texas six year old? All others should be adult and intermediate cooks. ;)

4 Chicken Breasts, boneless skinless or any other kind of meat – even sausage works - (About 9oz/breast or about 2-1/4lbs total raw weight - each cut piece should weigh 2-3oz, raw)
6 large Jalapenos
6 oz. Goat Cheese
Granulated Garlic
Black Pepper, freshly ground
Kosher Salt
Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
24 slices Bacon
Small Skewers or Toothpicks

Defrost frozen chicken breasts in a pan of cold water. Rinse and dry chicken breasts. Trim off any excess fat or gristle. Cut breasts diagonally into 3 even pieces.

Season breast meat on all sides with garlic powder, pepper and kosher salt. Don’t be stingy with the garlic powder and pepper! I never measure these, I know by now how much a meat can handle by ‘look’. Because of the cheese, I tend to go light on the salt. Kosher salt has less sodium than regular iodized table salt. It’s also coarser. Fluffy Chix love to cook with Kosher Salt.

Splash each piece of chicken with a couple of dashes of Worcestershire Sauce if desired.

Choose the largest jalapenos you can find! Texas-size 'em!

Wash and dry jalapenos. Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise.

Scrape out the seeds and remove the stems.

This is what the goat cheese looks like.

Stuff each jalapeno cavity with ½ ounce of goat cheese.

Cover the top of the cheese with a piece of chicken or any kind of meat you want. I love using sausage in place of chicken!

Wrap each Armadillo Egg with two slices of bacon. Try to completely cover each Armadillo Egg. Secure bacon with toothpicks.

(Bacon Note – Sometimes it will take 1 piece of bacon and sometimes it takes 1-1/2 or 2 pieces. Simply overlap the bacon about 1/8” for each wrap. Try not to go over the same area twice because the bacon doesn’t tend to cook as well and it takes longer to cook. The meat and cheese will get too dry before the bacon cooks.)

Grill over medium-high heat about 5 minutes per side. Usually, 1 minute lid down and 1 minutes lid up, works as a cooking pattern for controlling the fire. Watch for flare-ups. If flaring occurs, simply move the Eggs to a new portion of the grill and allow the flare to burn off.

Continue doing this until you get good color on the ‘eggs’ and the bacon looks cooked – about 15-20 minutes.

Turn off the fire on one side of the grill. Place Armadillo Eggs on that side of the grill and cook on indirect heat with the lid down for an additional 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken using an instant read meat thermometer, or simply pierce one portion of the chicken and check to see if the juices run clear.

Our Armadillo Eggs generally take about 25 minutes to cook through on medium-high heat which is about 350°-400°.

Serve on a bed of zucchini linguini with garlic and olive oil and eat a salad while you’re at it! No sauce necessary with these Armadillo Eggs, but if you must have a sauce use Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing. Must. Say. The Bomb!

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Serves – 1 – 1/4 cup Dip
Prep Time – 5 Minutes
Cook Time – None, it’s a dip!
Difficulty – 2 year old level (Nah, maybe a 4 year old Texan, there’s hot peppers in here!)

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch with Oven Fried
Mushrooms - Low Carb Gluten Free and
not a single drop of HFCS in sight!
½ c. Greek Yogurt, plain (Regular Yogurt works fine here.)
¼ c. Sour Cream
¼ c. Buttermilk, Full Fat preferred
1/8 c. Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip, homemade preferred)
1 tsp. Lime, juiced from fresh
2 Tbsp. Parsley Flakes, dried
½ tsp. Granulated Garlic Powder
¼ tsp. Mustard Powder, dry
¼ tsp. Onion Powder
1/8 tsp. Thyme, dried
1 pinch Dill Weed, dried
1/8 tsp. Black Pepper, freshly ground
1/8 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 Pickled Jalapenos with seeds
1 Tbsp Jalapeno Juice
1/3-1/2 c. Cilantro, fresh
1 pinch Coriander, ground (Optional)

Mince jalapenos with seeds. You can use a knife or mash it with a fork! Or use a food processor or blender, make it easy on yourself.

Finely chop cilantro. Use the leaves and the stems. As long as you mince it up finely or use a food processor, you’ll never know you didn’t spend hours picking off the cilantro leaves. There’s more flavor in the stems anyway.

Mix everything together and store in an air tight container in the fridge. Adjust thickness with buttermilk. If it’s too thick, add a splash more buttermilk or simply add water.

Nutritional Information

Armadillo Eggs - Full Recipe

Armadillo Eggs – Single Egg

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing – Full Recipe

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing – Single Serving

SusieT’s Notes –
Make the Creamy Jalapeno Dressing at your own risk. It’s addictive. Seriously. You will be found years later, trying to score Creamy Jalapeno Dressing off a homeless guy in a back alley behind Chuy’s Restaurant if you’re not judicious about consumption of this heavenly Texas dressing.

Sometimes, I have empty little spice containers and if I’m feeling organized, I will measure out several ‘packs’ of the Ranch Seasonings at the time I'm making a batch of dip. I’ve got all those spices out.(You know, if your budget is tight, Big Lots and the Dollar Stores usually have spices on sale super cheap. You can also buy them in bulk at many grocery stores and they end up being cheaper there as well.)

Simply label your jars as Ranch Dip Mix, add the date you made them, and suddenly you are only one big shake of the bottle, a few dollops of yogurt, sour cream, mayo and buttermilk away from an awesome and healthy version of Ranch! No high fructose corn syrup involved! No soy either! It is totally worth the annoyingly long ingredient list.

Texas Chicken Pizzaiolo - it's the Pizza Maker's Special
Chicken, and it's Texan cuz it's got a jalapeno stuffed up
it's bum. That's why we Texans often act like the
jack rabbits we are - cuz 'n most of us have
a jalapeno stuffed up our rear end, too!
Armadillo Eggs are one of my favorite grill dinners. They are easy and quick and taste great on their own, but taste even better as leftovers in the Texas Chicken Pizzaiolo recipe that will follow this one. Pizzaiolo means’ “Pizza Maker” so it’s a Pizza Maker’s Special Chicken! And it’s good. Oh my…so good.

If you don’t know what kind of goat cheese to buy, it is the creamy kind that looks like little cheese logs. You can get plain or herbed or peppered. Whatever you want! We have a little Texas cheese company out of Dallas that makes awesome Texas Chevre. It’s pretty cheap for a log. You can also find it at Sam’s or Costco and can get a huge log for around $6. That’s what I use. It’s a good deal. IF you hate goat cheese, sub out cream cheese, no big whoop!

Own it! I like goat cheese because it melts without dripping out of the Armadillo Egg.

Most men will eat two of the Armadillo Eggs – a lot of women will too! I find one fills me up, especially if I eat a salad and my favorite, zucchini linguini with it! Grilled Veggies are a yummy side dish too, as is a cooling coleslaw!

You know the drill.

Make 'em, embrace 'em, buy life insurance.

That way you can die happy.

And secure.


  1. Wow - great post! Yummy! Have a super weekend, Susie. Your blog is looking GREAT!!

    1. Thanks Jen! They are so easy, and so delicious! I so appreciate your visits and encouragement!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend too!!

      Everyone, please be sure to visit Jen at her lovely blog, Splendid Low-Carbing, which is low-carb-news.blogspot(dot)com!


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