Fondue Dippers: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken with Spinach, Blanched Vegetables and Apples
Serve with Fondue with Apple Brandy.
- 1 box frozen chopped spinach (10 ounces)
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
- 6 slices good quality smoky bacon, halved crosswise, such as Oscars from Warrensburg brand
- 12 chicken tenders
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1 bunch radishes, trimmed
- 1 large red pepper, seeded and sliced 1/2-inch-thick sticks
- 1 bundle white or thin green asparagus, trimmed
- 1 sack purple pearl onions or 1 jar pickled pearl onions, drained
- 1 jar mini gherkins, drained
- 1 bag pretzel rods
- Whole grain or seeded bread, diced, for dipping
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Defrost the spinach in the microwave.
Drizzle a little EVOO on a large plate and have a rack sitting on a baking a sheet or a slotted broiler pan nearby. Halve the bacon crosswise and reserve on a meat-safe prep board. Halve the chicken tenders and slide onto the plate with the EVOO. Season with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and paprika.
Wring out the spinach in a clean dish towel and put the spinach in a small dish. Top each piece of chicken with a little spinach and wrap with the bacon. Arrange, seam-side down, on the baking sheet. Bake until golden and firm, 18-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a few inches of salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Have a large bowl of ice water, for shocking the vegetables, ready as well. Add the radishes to the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute, then remove them and shock in ice water. Repeat with the pepper, removing the slices with tongs or small strainer or spider. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes, then shock and reserve.
If using fresh onions, add them last and cook for 3 minutes to loosen their skins. Shock them and use a towel to wipe away the skins.
Arrange the meat, vegetables and pretzels around a fondue pot and serve with cubed bread in a basket.