I cannot take one bit of credit for these delicious BBQ crusted chicken tenders. A sweet friend named Lauren, who moved to California awhile back, is the one who introduced me to these tasty little treaures. I love that I can have this delicious dinner in the oven in under 5 minutes. Don't let the title fool you, these are just mildly tangy--not really all that spicy. Think sweet BBQ flavor.
The first few times I made this recipe I used a whole piece of bacon per chicken tender, but felt like it was a bit too much. Feel free to use a whole piece if you prefer. My hubby (AKA Resident Taste Tester) and I agree that a half piece imparts all of the perfect bacon flavor and is a bit less greasy.
My kiddos aren't really into the bacon (gasp!!), so I oh-so-lightly dip theirs into the seasoning and leave off the bacon. Seriously...whose kids are these anyway? Haha! And if you happen to have leftover seasoning, just throw it into a labeled plastic bag or small container and freeze it for the next time you make these. You definitely want to keep it in the freezer, though, since you dipped raw chicken in it. I do this regularly with my chicken nugget breading and this dry BBQ seasoning. Feel free to freeze the leftover bacon, too. I hate wasting perfectly good food. And trust me when I tell you these are mmm, mmm good!
Sweet & Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken
Serves 4 (approx. 3 pieces each)
1.5 lb. Chicken tenders or 4 boneless breasts cut into strips
About 6 slices of nitrate-free bacon (if using 1/2 slice per tender)
1/4 c. Chili powder
1/4 c. Brown sugar
Toothpicks, if needed
1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. If using boneless skinless breasts, cut into strips the size of chicken tenders.
3. In a wide, shallow bowl mix together the chili powder and brown sugar until well combined.
4. Cut the bacon strips into half, width wise. Wrap a half piece of bacon around one of the chicken tenders diagonally. This may take a couple tries until you get the hang of it. If needed, use toothpicks to secure. (I just hold it in place, personally.)
5. While holding the ends of the bacon in place, dip the chicken into the seasoning on both sides to coat it well.
6. Place bacon wrapped and seasoned chicken tenders onto cookie sheet and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the bacon is thoroughly cooked and the chicken is no longer pink.
Looking for a recipe to use up that leftover bacon? Try this!