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Clockwise from top left, Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad, Pico de Gallo and Monterrey Chicken. 

If you’re craving Tex-Mex and want tons of flavor, you’ll enjoy this chicken dish. As initially written, the recipe provided for two servings. However, I used four chicken breasts, and there was sufficient marinade for the chicken.

There are two different methods to prepare the chicken. You can cook it in a large skillet and, when cooked through, add the cheese and bacon, cover the skillet and allow the cheese to melt.

Or, you can grill the chicken, remove it from the grill to a baking sheet, add the cheese and bacon and place it under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese.

Don’t neglect to make the pico de gallo to serve alongside. It was the perfect condiment.

Monterrey Chicken

Marinade for chicken:

• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

• 1 tablespoon each brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5 to 6 ounces each), pounded to 1/2-inch thickness

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Add chicken breasts and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

For the topping:

• 4 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserve drippings)

• 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Heat a grill pan or grill over medium heat and brush pan with some of the bacon drippings. Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip off. Discard marinade.

Cook chicken, covered, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F., about 5 minutes per side.

Top chicken with bacon-cheese mixture, cover and cook until cheese has melted, about 1 minute more.

Pico de Gallo

• 1 tomato, seeded and diced, about 1 cup

• 1/4 cup diced red onion

• 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno

• 1 tablespoon minced cilantro

• 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

• 1 tablespoon reserved bacon drippings

• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

• 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to your taste)

• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, combine tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic. Stir in 1 tablespoon reserved bacon drippings and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad

• 2 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked

• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

• 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey

• 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and coriander

• Salt and black pepper to taste

• 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

• 2 scallions, thinly sliced

• 4 cups romaine hearts

• 1 avocado, thinly sliced (optional)

Heat grill pan or grill over medium heat, and spray with nonstick spray.

Grill corn, occasionally turning, until charred, about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off cobs.

Whisk together lime juice, oil, agave, cumin and coriander for the vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper.

Combine corn kernels, beans and scallions. Divide romaine between plates, top with the corn/bean mixture and sliced avocados if serving, then drizzle with vinaigrette.

From Cuisine at Home, Issue No. 122

Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com, for more than eight years. She won the Duke’s Mayonnaise 100th Anniversary nationwide recipe contest for her Alabama White BBQ Sauce. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.

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