I was compensated to write this post and develop this recipe by Land O’Lakes and Land O Lakes® Deli Cheese. All opinions and silliness remain my own.
In the wonderful world of food, there are several foods that are almost universally loved (unless you’re a fat eschewing vegan or vegetarian, in which case this list most certainly will not apply to you): cheese, bacon, chicken, and fried things. What happens when you combine all of those well-loved foods into one little deep-fried package? Cheesy Barbecue Chicken and Bacon Egg Rolls.
I’m afraid I might make Jane Austen do a very discreet roll in her grave by paraphrasing her thusly, but while considering how to open this post, the following phrase kept popping into my head over and over, and maybe, just maybe, Jane would’ve enjoyed the play on her words. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a deep fryer must be in want of a woman who knows how to use it.” The truth is that my husband bought a deep fryer long before I was ever a food blogger in the hopes that we could perfect a seriously southern fried chicken and we did THAT long before our dearly departed frydaddy kicked the oil bucket. Since then, we’ve made due with an ad hoc arrangement of heavy-bottomed frying pans or pasta pots filled with boiling oil positioned over open flames.
Sounds safe, right?
We might’ve had an epiphany about the wisdom of this boiling oil/open flame arrangement in the context of having five boys who were throwing a frisbee in the kitchen while I was deep-frying a couple of months ago and so recently re-delved into deep-fryer ownership, and have been FRYING ALL THE THINGS all the time. When my friends at Land O’Lakes approached me to see if I’d like to play around with some of their new Sharp Cheddar American Blend Cheese, I had immediate visions of melty-good, deep-fried, cheese-filled something-or-others and gave them a resounding yes! As soon as I got the cheese in my hot little hands, I started playing with it, and the results are what I’m sharing with you today.
Cheesy Barbecue Chicken and Bacon Egg Rolls are everything good in one crunchy, deep-fried package. Fully cooked, shredded chicken is blended with your favourite barbecue sauce, crispy bacon, and chopped LAND O LAKES® Sharp Cheddar American Blend, rolled in egg roll wrappers and then (at least in our home) deep-fried until golden brown and delicious on the outside and saucy, melted goodness on the inside.
If you’re not in possession of your own deep-fryer or a wife (or will) to plunge things into boiling oil, you CAN bake them. I will say that of our seven silly eaters, we were divided on the baked version. All acknowledged them to be tasty, but five of the seven greatly preferred the fried version, while two preferred the baked. Instructions for both are included in the recipe below.
- I love to use my homemade Slow-Cooker Chicken for Recipes in here. You can certainly use any fully cooked, leftover chicken in its place, though.
- On the subject of barbecue sauce, you can use whichever one you like the best. I prefer to use my father-in-law’s recipe: The Evil Genius, Sr.’s Slathering Barbecue Sauce. It has a great bold flavour that goes wonderfully with the cheese and chicken.
- It can be a little tricky to understand how to roll an egg roll unless you’ve grown up doing it or seen it illustrated. To that end, I have a little collage below to help you. Practice will make perfect! If you’ve never tried before, you may want to have a couple of extra egg roll wrappers on hand. Sometimes you’ll break through one or two while learning.
- One of the beautiful things about this recipe is that all of the ingredients are fully cooked, so you don’t have to deep fry or bake any longer than it takes to crisp up the exterior and make the insides hot.
- 5 cups shredded, fully-cooked chicken
- 12 slices of bacon, cooked 'til crispy and crumbled or chopped
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 12 slices Land O'Lakes Sharp Cheddar American Blend
- one large handful fresh chives or parsley, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or chili powder for a milder result)
- 20-25 egg roll wrappers
- oil for frying (or non-stick spray if baking.)
- Optional for serving:
- extra barbecue sauce for dipping
- chopped parsley or chives for garnish
- Combine the chicken, bacon, barbecue sauce, Land O'Lakes Sharp Cheddar American Blend, chives or parsley, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes in a bowl and mix well to combine. The mixture should hold together when pinched between two fingers.
- Lay one egg roll wrapper in front of you like a diamond with a point facing your belly. Scoop about ¼ cup of the filling into the center of the egg roll wrapper and compact it into a tube shape so that it runs from side to side. Fold the point of the egg roll wrapper nearest you over the tube of filling and pull back gently on it to compact it further. Fold the left side in over that followed by the right side, and gently roll it away from you until you have just a couple inches left. Moisten your finger and run it along the edge of the egg roll wrapper, then finish rolling it up, smoothing the seam with your finger to help hold it in place.
- Repeat until you run out of filling and wrappers.
- Heat your oil to 340°F. Lower several egg rolls into the oil, taking care not to overcrowd them. Fry for 6 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remember they will continue to darken as they drain! Transfer the fried egg rolls to a paper towel lined plate to drain and repeat frying batches and draining. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before attempting to eat!
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spritz lightly with oil or non-stick cooking spray. Lay the egg rolls on the baking sheet and spritz them lightly with the oil or non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through, or until golden brown and delicious. The will be slightly less crisp than their fried counterparts, but still delicious.
The beauty of the Land O’Lakes Sharp Cheddar American Blend is that it has that punch of bold Cheddar flavour, but melts as beautifully like American cheese. It’s the ideal candidate for tucking into these egg rolls. You can pick it up at your local deli counter in just about any grocery store. I intend to make a lot of use of this cheese during cheeseburger season (read: July-June. We observe 12 months of cheeseburger season Chez Foodie with Family.)
To help celebrate the launch of their Sharp Cheddar American Blend, Land O’Lakes is helping me host a giveaway for Foodie with Family readers. The giveaway package includes a Hamilton Beach® Gourmet Panini Press, a grilling utensils set, and some coupons for Sharp Cheddar American Blend- all items to help you craft your own fabulous summer treat.
For some inspiration, check out delicious LAND O LAKES® Sharp Cheddar American Blend recipes here!
To be entered to win, all you need to do is leave a comment below answering the following question:
How would YOU use the brand new LAND O LAKES® Sharp Cheddar American Blend?
Furthermore -not required for prize package giveaway entry-Do you think Jane Austen will give me the cold shoulder in heaven for taking liberties with her master work? Sigh. I guess I’d better eat another eggroll and think on it.
One Foodie with Family reader will be chosen at random from comments on this post on Friday, August 8th, 2014 at noon EDT, will be contacted by email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen and contacted.