Ha! I fooled you with a couple of posts that weren’t about food, just to hit you with a new one!
Okay, it’s still not really a food blog. But I made an awesome dinner and I’m gonna share it.
- 10 chicken breast tenderloins
- 10 slices thick-cut bacon (1 slice per tenderloin)
- About 3 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with foil, and put an oven-safe wire rack on top; give the rack a quick coating of oil or nonstick spray. Take out your bacon and chicken. You can use chicken breasts and simply cut them to strips about an inch and a half thick. If you don’t want to count anything out, peel off a strip of bacon at a time and cook up the rest while the chicken is in the oven. (Bonus bacon!) Optionally season the chicken before wrapping, but go light on salt. Working at an angle, wrap a strip of bacon around each tenderloin to get the best possible coverage. If more bacon ends up on the top or bottom, make sure the chicken is placed with more bacon on top so it will drip down. Cook about 45-50 minutes until the bacon is done. About halfway through cooking, spoon melted butter over each piece for better flavor and browning.
I was working from a recipe I found online, one of the few that used thick-cut bacon and didn’t need to partially pre-cook the bacon, so I thought I could trust it. Granted it was for only six tenderloins and I had ten, but the time it recommended (25-30 minutes) was inadequate. About 50 minutes was just about right. The chicken was not super-moist, but neither was it dry; if you want really moist chicken you’ll absolutely have to pre-cook the bacon slightly and lower the cooking time. (No you can’t use thinner bacon. I’m sure it will work, but you owe yourself better than that.)
My wife and I both loved the result, which melded the flavors beautifully. When you’re eating this, it doesn’t even seem like two different meats, but in a good way. I served this with cauliflower fauxtatoes, which were really easy to make while the chicken cooked, even while I fried up the remaining bacon from the 1½ lb. package. Keeping in mind that I am not much of a kitchen multitasker, this was something of a triumph.
You can use toothpicks to secure the ends of the bacon, but you shouldn’t need them; I didn’t. I also completely forgot to season the chicken before wrapping it, but that turned out to be completely unnecessary. The chicken had a very nice flavor even in the little bits that weren’t covered by bacon. Depending on your taste, you might like some black pepper, garlic, onion, or Italian herbs. I didn’t want to do anything that would interfere with the flavor of the bacon, so if anything I would have used a little pepper and light salt.