FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.
Bacon-wrapped chicken fingers and the importance of a balanced diet
Look, this isn’t going to fit into the super-healthy category most January recipes are written for. It probably won’t help with your New Year’s resolution, unless you resolved to eat more bacon.
It’s a cheat meal, something to put on the table when the family can’t take one more night of pomegranate-super-food-fish-oil surprise. It’s easy and comforting, and it will leave you satisfied and ready to get back on the wagon tomorrow.
I’m talking about bacon-wrapped chicken fingers. Yep, as if plain breaded chicken fingers weren’t un-virtuous enough, I decided I needed to wrap them in bacon to fully satisfy my cold-weather comfort-food craving.
This recipe came from a posting I saw on Pinterest, originally from the blog, Full Bellies, Happy Kids. I changed up a few of the ingredients and added measurements. The combination of sweet, salty and spicy appealed to everyone in my family. If I hadn’t been cooking for a toddler who avoids spicy foods, I probably would have added some cayenne pepper to the mix.
This dish certainly isn’t a paragon of good nutrition, but I think it’s a good example of the importance of balance and variety in everyone’s diet. I served this with a big helping of salad and baked sweet potato “fries” on the side. That made for a colorful plate.
It also led to a plate that looked a little different from what we’re used to. I always think it’s good to remind kids that chicken, even in finger form, does not necessarily have to be covered in bread crumbs.
This dish was rich, so we had leftovers. The leftover chicken fingers were great the next day chopped and thrown into a wrap with a lot of greens, a few carrots and some blue cheese.
So stay on those New Year’s health food kicks. When you need a little break, give these a go. Then get back to kale chips and salmon cakes.
Bacon-wrapped chicken fingers
Adapted from Full Bellies, Happy Kids
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
garlic salt, black pepper and paprika to taste
5 slices bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar (place in a shallow bowl or on a plate)
5 slices bacon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a glass 13×9 baking dish with the oil.
Pat the chicken breasts with a paper towel to remove any liquid. Slice breasts lengthwise into thirds.
Season chicken on both sides with the garlic salt, paprika and black pepper.
Cut your bacon slices in half cross-wise. wrap each chicken piece with half a slice of bacon (You will have one half slice left over and I am confident you will not let it go to waste.).
Roll bacon-wrapped chicken pieces in the brown sugar.
Line up chicken pieces in baking dish. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers the chicken at 165 degrees. Serve hot.
Baked sweet potato “fries”
adapted from Simply Recipes
2 medium sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons garam masala spice mix
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a metal cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.
Peel your sweet potatoes. Halve them cross-wise and cut each half into sticks that are roughly 1/2-inch wide.
Toss potato sticks in a bowl with the oil, salt, sugar and spices. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on the cooling rack. bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until outsides are crisped and potatoes are cooked all the way through.