Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mmm... Meat (Or Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenderloins with Avocado Ranch Sauce)

So I casually mentioned my Super Bowl menu and you guys murdered me with the meat requests. (Laugh) Seriously. Since Sunday afternoon I've gotten 124 emails regarding the Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenderloins. We all really need to get lives. Or maybe just a really great meat recipe, huh?

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


Mama Lisa said...

Thank you. can't wait to try it. i get so bored thinking of things to cook and i love avacado's. looks delicious. 124 emails? poor thing. sorry.

Jim Looby said...

Loverly. This is almost like something Amy and I used to cook when we were dating (and I was skinnier... coincidence? That's what I get for marrying an Italian...) :)

Amy said...

I'm going to have to learn to like avocados I guess...

Liz Harrell said...

Wow. This is NOT the kind of thing I should be reading after eating a sensible Lean Cuisine and a salad.

I'm suddenly very hungry again. :)

Knitting Mania said...

Yum...I'm trying all of these recipes...love your blog...I'll be back!!!

Unknown said...

Well Brin, one way to cut down on all the emails is to get that recipe book done and out so we can buy it and not bug you so much! lol These look so good and easy! Thanks for listening to us! :)

A family of boys said...

I showed these to hubby and he started drooling! Do you think there is a way to make a vegetarian version. :)

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Delish! I don't even like bacon and this may have won me over! Thanks for sharing. Your photos are mouth watering!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! Those sound amazing!
Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Linda Z said...

Yum! I gotta try these some time! Bacon wrapped asparagus is a fav of mine... just wrap up little bundles and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil 10 minutes or so. When will your cookbook be coming out?? I'd really love to have your recipes on hand!

Lallee said...

I'll definitely be making these! Yum! The Super Bowl was great to watch this year even though my team wasn't in it either.

Anonymous said...

Yummy! I can't wait to try them!

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