Want finger-lickin' good? Try these bacon-wrapped chicken tenders basted and caramelized with a sweet, slightly spicy and smoky chile ancho and brown sugar glaze.
Prepare these bacon-wrapped chicken tenders for your next gathering and I promise you will be popular with your friends and family. Sometimes the most memorable dishes of a party are the side dishes or appetizers. The popular trend for a while now has been serving a menu of just appetizers. This way your guests are able to try a variety of different dishes. For this recipe, I combined the ever-so popular bacon-wrapped chicken with a chile ancho and brown sugar glaze. With simple and staple ingredients found in most of our pantries, this dish becomes extra special. Sweet, salty and slightly spicy, these bacon-wrapped chicken tenders are always a hit at my holiday gatherings. And by the way, if you switch out the glaze with your favorite buffalo sauce, you'll have an instant favorite for game day as well!
For The Chicken
2 boneless chicken breasts sliced into 12-14 tenders
Slice the chicken into tenders and season on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chile ancho powder. Wrap each tender with a full strip of bacon. If you like, you can secure with a toothpick. Chill until ready to cook. Cook the 2 extra pieces of bacon until crispy. Let cool, crumble and reserve.
Remove chicken from refrigerator and prepare the glaze. Once glaze is ready, preheat oven to 375 ºF. Also preheat a large skillet to medium heat for a few minutes. When hot, brown the chicken for 7 to 9 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer to a baking pan as they cook.
Pour half of the glaze over browned chicken, reserving the other half. Sprinkle a little more brown sugar over chicken. I like to add a little more fresh cracked pepper at this time. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, then broil for less than a minute to finish. Transfer to serving plate. Garnish with crumbled bacon and drizzle the remaining glaze over the top of chicken.
For The Glaze
In the same pan used for the 2 strips of bacon, heat to medium. Add the onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes.
To finish the glaze, add all of the remaining ingredients listed for the glaze. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking until the glaze becomes thick and reduces. Taste for salt and pepper.
To prep this appetizer the day before, follow the instructions until it comes time to bake the tenders. Bake as instructed but do not add glaze. Cool and keep refrigerated. Next day, bring to room temperature while oven preheats to 375 degrees. Glaze as instructed and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Broil as instructed.