I can't help us with the life, but I can hook us up with the recipe. So here it is, without further delay: the perfect party food/finger food. The perfect offering for barbeques, family reunions, picnics, snack time, and church potlucks. The ideal munchie to freeze and reheat. The low carb dieter's dream. This, my friends, is my Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenderloins with Avocado Ranch Sauce. Enjoy.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenderloins
1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
1 lb. sliced, maple cured bacon
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Slice chicken tenderloins in half... nugget size. (Or don’t. Leave them chicken-strip size. Whichever you prefer.) Cover with cheese. Cut bacon slices in half and wrap each chicken piece with bacon, taking care to cover most of the chicken and all of the cheese. If necessary, secure with wooden picks. Place on an oven-safe rack set over a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp and chicken is no longer pink. Makes approximately 3 dozen nugget-sized snacks.
Easy. And honestly, there are a thousand different ways to make these. If you can’t find chicken tenderloins, slice up chicken breasts. Use any bacon you prefer; I think the slight sweetness of the maple cured bacon really sets off the saltiness of the cheese and meat. (Sunday I even added Jamaican Jerk Rub to the mix.) Be daring and try different cheeses [Cheddar? Gouda? Provolone?] or skip the cheese altogether. Roll the chicken in ½ cup brown sugar and some chipotle powder and garlic powder, cover in applewood smoked bacon and then bake. Go crazy and invent your own variety. Just always, always serve them with the sauce…
Avocado Ranch Sauce
1 medium avocado
1/4 cup sour cream
1 T. lime juice
1 ½ T. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
1 T. chili powder (chipotle powder… whatever)
½ t. garlic powder
1 t. black pepper
2 T. chopped dill, if desired
In a food processor, blend ingredients on high until combined and creamy… about 30 seconds. Or, if you don’t want to bother with a food processor, smash the avocado with a fork and whisk together with remaining ingredients until it reaches desired consistency. Taste, adjusting seasonings as desired. (I sometimes add a little mayonnaise to this in addition to the sour cream. Play around with what you like.) Refrigerate two hours to chill and combine flavors. I usually serve my sauce in the clean, hallowed-out avocado shell. But definitely serve it cold. The colder the better.
Just so you know, the chicken can be frozen for future snacking. Just thaw and then warm for 10 minutes at 350 F before serving. The sauce, however, is best made fresh. If you have any leftovers, spoon it down over a baked potato or eat with carrot sticks. Or your finger. It's addictive....
Mmmm... meat. There you have it. Hope you and yours love it. -Brin