Having friends over to watch the NCAA Championship game tonight? We served these Bacon-Chicken-Jalapeno Poppers at our Super Bowl get-together and they were a hit. This recipe is inspired by one at Salad in a Jar, with some adjustment to include seasoning for the chicken. I opted for a cast iron skillet over grilling to prevent drying out the chicken and the aroma from the frying bacon to raise the anticipation of our guests (which worked).
Savory chicken stuffed with cream cheese and jalapenos, wrapped in crisped smoky bacon. Easy to prepare in advance and enticing presentation, these delicious bite-size appetizers are worthy of big game gatherings.
Yield: 16 bite-size appetizers
8 whole chicken tenders — flattened and cut in two
8 slices bacon — cut in half
3 ounces cream cheese — softened
2-3 jalapeno peppers — seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley — chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 teaspoons coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix spices in a bowl and set aside. Prep chicken tenders by removing any attached tendon and gently flatten with a mallet. Cut each tender in half to create two 2×3 inch pieces of chicken per tender (8 tenders should produce 16 pieces). Sprinkle seasoning on both sides of the chicken and lay out on a piece of wax paper.
Place approximately 1/2 teaspoon of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of minced jalapeno over the cream cheese (more or less depending on desired heat). Roll the chicken around the stuffing, sprinkle with spices again if needed and wrap each piece with 1/2 slice of bacon.
NOTES: It is recommended to use gloves when handling fresh peppers to avoid absorbing the oils into the skin. If using nitrite-free, naturally smoked bacon add a little more salt to the seasoning mix.