Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Jones Dairy Farm. All photos and opinions remain my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this blog possible.
There’s nothing like the flavor grilling imparts! Just about anything is improved by some time on those hot grates, searing to perfection what would otherwise just be okay baked or sautéed. At our prior apartment, our grill was right outside our kitchen door and I used it year-round for its simplicity and the great taste. When we moved, the grill became a little less convenient–still right off the kitchen, but no longer under cover, and I have to go around the corner now to behind the house to reach it–and I used it less. Which is a shame. I’ve decided to remedy this and I’m starting with these grilled bacon-wrapped chicken bites, featuring Jones Dairy Farm Cherrywood Smoked Bacon! Mmm…bacon!
Skewers are a fun way to arrange food. After all, everyone loves food on a stick! It seems to harken back to camp-outs and time spent around the family fire roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on found sticks with no more than the heat of the coals and flames to prepare your treat. It’s primal, communal, creating a fond memory to hold on to for an eternity. And it keeps little pieces of meat from falling into the fire, where they would quickly become charcoal, so it’s practical, too. You can buy nifty skewers meant to be used over and over again, but I still use the bamboo ones. Make sure you soak them for at least 20 minutes before using or you’ll have an inferno on your hands! While burnt marshmallows are the peak of perfection, burnt chicken is not. It’s just really, really sad.
In the past, in spite of my best efforts, grilling bacon was problematic. That is until I realized what the problem was–direct heat! Put a flame under bacon grease and you’ll have a bonfire in no time. Put it over indirect heat and you’ll have happy bacon–and no grease spatters all over your kitchen walls. Win-win! These bacon-wrapped chicken bites spend most of their time over indirect heat for the actual cooking, with a few minutes on direct heat to finish them off, crisping up the bacon beautifully. They’re smoky and juicy and just plain irresistible! I love them served over this creamy spinach pasta, but you can also just make the chicken for an appetizer or snack and be quite satisfied, too.
Did you know that Jones Dairy Farm recently launched an online cookbook featuring 125 recipes – one recipe for every year the family-owned and operated company has been in business? The Celebrating Great Taste cookbook can be found at www.issuu.com/jonesdairyfarm and features recipes made with their extended line of products, including their all-natural sausage, dry-aged bacon, ham, Canadian bacon, turkey sausage, turkey bacon, braunschweiger, and scrapple. You’ll find a wide range of options, including some unexpected surprises, like candied bacon malted milkshakes and chocolate bacon toffee ice cream. Sign me up!
For 125 years, families around the country have been serving our high-quality products to their loved ones. As a thank you to our customers, we’ve compiled 125 of our favorite recipes that incorporate our signature products. We hope families enjoy them so that together, we can celebrate our tradition of great taste. – Philip H. Jones, sixth generation president of Jones Dairy Farm.
Here’s to long summer days filled with lots of bacon!
- 1 8-ounce package Jones Dairy Farm Cherrywood Smoked Bacon
- 14 ounces boneless chicken breast
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning blend
- 12 ounces farfalle
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon garlic puree
- 1 5-ounce package baby spinach
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- Soak 5 bamboo skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.
- Cut chicken into 20 1-inch cubes.
- Cut bacon strips in half.
- Wrap chicken cubes with bacon and place 4 on each of the skewers, piercing through the bacon flap from wrapping to keep it secured.
- Sprinkle Cajun seasoning over all sides of the skewers.
- Preheat grill to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook the skewers over indirect heat on the grill, rotating every 5 minutes or so until the chicken is cooked through (about 25-30 minutes). If you have a 3-burner gas grill, turn the 2 outside burners on and place the skewers in the middle to achieve indirect heat cooking (or use the upper rack, if you must–you really want to avoid putting them over direct heat for the bulk of the cooking time to prevent bacon grease flare-ups).
- When a meat thermometer inserted in the middle of a chicken chunk reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, they’re done; I actually took them off indirect heat at 160 degrees Fahrenheit and put them over the burners that were on for the last few minutes of cooking time to crisp up the bacon, turning often.
- While the chicken skewers are grilling, cook the pasta according to manufacturer’s directions to al dente and drain.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic puree and spinach and toss frequently until the spinach starts to wilt.
- Add the chicken broth and cream cheese, cooking until you get a creamy sauce. Remove from heat.
- Add the drained pasta and grated Parmesan and toss.
- Dish out the pasta on 5 plates and place 1 skewer of chicken over the top of each plate.