Add bacon to anything and it will fly off the table. That’s what a caterer once told me and I believe it. Certainly applies here.
Whether you’re planning a cookout this weekend or cooking indoors (rain predicted here in Texas), grill up a few of these sizzling treats for a quick appetizer or serve as an entree. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a big plate of these spicy and cheesy, smoky and crispy chicken nuggets.
If you don’t like hot, leave out the jalapenos or skimp a bit. I definitely prefer fresh jalapenos over the canned or pickled ones traditionally used with nachos. They are milder and prettier too.
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites
Recipe adapted from Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood
Chicken spread with cream cheese and jalapenos, rolled and wrapped with bacon, then grilled
8 chicken tenders, flattened and cut in two
3-ounce package softened cream cheese
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
8 slices bacon, cut in half
Dab ½ teaspoon (more or less) of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle a scant ¼ teaspoon of peppers over cream cheese. Fold or roll chicken to enclose cream cheese mixture. Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.
Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. An inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be an unforgettable experience.
For reference, if you are substituting for the chicken tenders (i.e. dark meat, large pieces of chicken breast, game meat), the size of the tenders I used were 5-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide before flattening and cutting in half.
Try flattening meat inside a zip-lock bag as pictured above. No flying pieces, no contamination on your cutting board from the chicken, and cleanup is super easy.