This versatile recipe makes 10 delicious bacon-wrapped chicken tenders, which are dainty enough to be served as appetizers or snacks, or delicious enough to serve a few of them together as an appetizer. Bacon and chicken are always wonderful together, and often combine in recipes such as pizza, burgers or pasta dishes. In the following recipe the bacon is used to wrap the chicken, and this is to lock in the juices, to add a salty flavor, and to provide a perfect overall taste, boosted by the wonderful seasonings used.
How the Flavors Balance Out
The bacon offers a salty taste while the sugar sweetens these chicken skewers perfectly. A kick from the chili powder, aromatic garlic, Italian seasoning and paprika, and a little black pepper harmonize the flavor even more, and you will have no complaints after taking a bite of one of these fantastic little snacks.
Garnish the plate with parsley or chop some fresh parsley or cilantro to sprinkle over the finished tenders if you want to add some color and another flavor. Either way, you cannot go wrong with this recipe because everything just comes together so beautifully, and you will find these neither too spicy nor too mild, neither too sweet nor too salty. Serve simple side dishes with these if you are offering them as an entrée, because you do not want your sides to clash with the flavor of these chicken tenders.
Mashed potatoes and broccoli would be good, or corn on the cob and white rice perhaps. If you are making these as an appetizer then you can serve them as they are or perhaps add some salad leaves to the plate for color. Because these are juicy and flavorful, you do not need to serve a dip or sauce with them unless you especially want to, and in that case you could offer something creamy like blue cheese dip for example, for a contrasting flavor and texture.
Assembling These Tasty Bites
Making them is simple, although you have a choice about how you put them together. In the photo you can see we have threaded the chicken tenders on to large skewers, and that certainly makes them easy to flip on the grill and helps ensure they cook evenly because you can turn them easily.
Another idea though, if you do not want to use the skewers, is to leave them out of the recipe and simply wrap the bacon around the tenders. You might need a few toothpicks to secure them in this case (which should also be soaked in cold water for half an hour so they do not burst into flames on the grill) and then of course you need to pull them out before serving. You can buy chicken tenders or make your own from chicken breasts. You will need about a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast to make 10 chicken tenders, or just get the butcher to make some for you.
Get them all a similar shape and size if you can, so they cook evenly. To tell when they are done you can either slice the biggest-looking one in half and check the inside is white, or use a thermometer to take the temperature without having to cut into one of them. Chicken tenders should be 165 degrees F to be safe to serve.
- 10 chicken tenders (about a pound in total)
- 10 bacon strips, sliced in half lengthwise
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the barbeque to medium-high and soak 10 bamboo skewers for 30 minutes in cold water.
- Thread a skewer through each chicken tender, to make them easier to handle.
- Combine the Italian seasoning, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the chicken tenders, coating them generously.
- Wrap a couple of bacon strip halves around each tender, tucking in the ends so they look tidy.
- Combine the chili powder with the sugar and sprinkle this over the bacon, pressing it on so it sticks.
- Grill for about 7 minutes per side or until the chicken is white in the center.
- Serve hot, garnished with parsley if liked.
Bacon-wrapped chicken tenders offer a luxurious twist on plain chicken kabobs and adding spices and seasonings as well as brown sugar just elevates the flavor to the next level. Serve these as an appetizer or entrée, either alone or with some sides. These will appeal to kids as well as grownups, although you might like to reduce the amount of chili if you are making these for the little ones too. Each bite of these offers a little bit of everything – salty, sweet, spicy, soft, crispy, and chewy flavors and textures. Easy to make and delicious to eat, you just cannot go wrong with these bacon-wrapped chicken tenders.
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