Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spicy Chicken and Bacon Poppers

The chicken and peppers make it so you're not
just shamefully eating a plate of bacon.
The first recipe I'm going to recommend comes from Mark's Daily Apple. It's his Spicy Chicken and Bacon Poppers

His recipe is good, and clearly laid out. You should be able to follow it without much help from me. Just reposting Mark's recipe seems silly to me, so I'm linking to it and adding a couple of things I wanted to say about it.

First, he uses pickled pepperoncini peppers. Those are fine, and I say give them a try to see if you like them. Personally, though, I prefer to make this recipe with pickled hot cherry peppers (like these ). I just like them a little better than the pepperoncinis.

Second, Mark seems to cut his chicken breast into larger pieces than I do. It might be because I use the cherry peppers, but a chicken breast cut into 8 pieces usually yields pieces that are hard to fit in a pepper. I get more like 10 pieces out of each chicken breast, and those pieces seem to fit the peppers better. I suggest that you look at the size of your peppers, and then basically cut pieces to fit. Go ahead; I trust you to freestyle it a little.

You can season the chicken pretty much however you want, but I don't think it needs much. There's vinegar in the peppers (which are spicy), and bacon is pretty salty in general, so I usually make this without doing anything to the chicken at all. I just let the pepper and the bacon provide the flavor, but if you've got a favorite spice, try it out.

A note on grilling these: I don't recommend the "8-10 minutes per side" that Mark suggests. I think you'll end up much happier if you do quarter turns every 2 minutes and cycle through two complete turns. The bacon is less prone to burning that way.

As far as I'm concerned, you can eat these every day and be not only within the letter of the paleo law, but also within the spirit. Some people quibble about the bacon, but if you get good quality bacon (especially the uncured kind) then I say you're fine.

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