Oven-baked barbecue chicken recipe topped with sweet honey ham and provolone cheese. You can have Ruby Tuesday old-school style Smoky Mountain Chicken on the table in 30 minutes!
Smoky Mountain Chicken will have them running back to the dinner table. No more boring chicken dinner nights when you serve up this moist barbecue chicken!
This famous chicken from Ruby Tuesday has not always been topped with bacon or cheddar and Swiss cheese.
There was a time when it was topped with ham and provolone cheese. Just my opinion, but I think the original was much better.
Ham compliments the dish and bacon overpowers it.
By all means, if bacon is your preference, use a couple of pieces of cooked, thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon instead.
Same with the cheese, if you prefer a stronger cheese, use that.
I like to use provolone for the flavor, color, and round shape that makes it easier to cover the chicken without going overboard.
1 1/2 slices of provolone seem to cover the chicken perfectly.
This is one of the easiest dinners I make.
Just start with some standard boneless chicken breasts.
Add some salt and pepper. Now would be the time to add any other seasonings you might like. BBQ rub or seasoning would be great on this chicken.
When the chicken is right at done. I tend to pull my chicken out of the oven as soon as the juices run clear.
For me, this means somewhere in the range of 150 to 155⁰F.
I recommend the use of a kitchen thermometer when cooking any poultry. I have a few pocket thermometers (affiliate link) hanging around so I always have one that is clean.
Much over 160⁰F chicken breasts start to get dry and rubbery.
For the specifics on chicken and internal temperature, see this great post by ThermoWorks. These folks have definitely done their homework!
After the first bake, the chicken will have released some juices.
I drain off the juices and use a paper towel to get as much of that liquid out of the baking pan as possible before adding the rest of the ingredients.
This isn’t necessary, but you will lose less cheese this way.
Any cheese that melts down into the juice will become part of the liquid and lost forever.
Done my way, you will have cheese that can be picked up with the chicken.
Cheese that has been flavored by just a hint of BBQ sauce that also worked its way to the bottom of the pan.
Traditionally, this chicken was served topped with tomatoes and green onion.
I don’t use tomatoes because I don’t think they bring much extra flavor to the party.
Serve this with a potato dish and a vegetable and you will have a well-rounded meal on the table in short order!
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Smoky Mountain Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- 8 slices honey ham
- 6 slices provolone cheese
- Chopped green onions optional
- Diced tomatoes optional
- Preheat oven to 350⁰F.
- Prepare a baking dish by covering with non-stick aluminum foil or coating with a baking spray.
- Place chicken breasts into the prepared baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, or just until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and top with BBQ sauce, a slice of ham, and 1 1/2 slices of cheese.
- Place chicken back into the oven and cook an addition 4 to 5 minutes or just until the cheese has melted.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and top with green onions and tomatoes if using.
- Serve while hot.