What could go wrong with bacon, sugar, and spices? Cubes of chicken wrapped in bacon and coated with brown sugar, chili powder, and cumin.
Editor note: Originally published June 15, 2012. This is my most pinned recipe on Pinterest and is one of our go-to recipes for gatherings. It’s time for a facelift with expanded discussion and updated photos.
Great finger food for that “bring a dish” party. These Sweet and Spicy Chicken Bacon wraps have a skill level of 3/10 (easy). Plus it is easy to double or triple if needed.
Adapted from a Food Network Paula Deen recipe. I looked at it and thought it needed a little cumin and more bacon, so I did a test cooking the day before the big party and taste tested with my wife. The cumin stayed.
Excellent. Always the first dishes to be finished off at the party. Take copies of the recipe with you.
Pro Tips: Recipe Notes on Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Chicken
I did a triple recipe so the pictures will reflect that. The recipe and discussion are for a single batch recipe.
I use skinless boneless chicken breasts for this recipe. But chicken thighs would work.
The chicken should be raw, not precooked. It will fully cook with the bacon. If precooked, it will be way overcooked.
The original recipe called for 1/3 pieces of bacon, but 1/2 pieces were better sticking together, and I like bacon.
If you are using thicker bacon, you will need to flatten it a bit with the flat edge of a knife. Thinner bacon is up to you.
The cumin is optional. It adds only a little heat but I think it makes these wraps something special. Cumin is always so good with chicken.
Serving the Wraps
Keeping them warm for serving could be a challenge. Electric griddles usually have a warm setting and will work well.
A large crock pot will work but put a bunch of wadded up aluminum foil balls in the bottom, so the bottom layer does not set in drained liquid. Use a low setting.
We have a 40-year-old porcelain electric serving tray that we use. I don’t believe they make these anymore.
Lastly, I’m a chicken about chicken. I checked the internal temps of many pieces and all were in the 180 range. No food safety issues.
Serving wise, keep the temperature above 140 degrees if they are out for more than 2 hours (they will not last that long).
Preheat oven to 350 convection. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Mix well.
Clean and trim about 1 1/4 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breast. Cut into approx 1-inch cubes.
If using thick bacon, thin out with the back edge of a chef knife.
Cut the bacon in half, roll around the chicken cubes and secure with a toothpick. This is the point to cover and refrigerate for better timing.
Prep baking sheet with aluminum foil a rack and spray with PAM.
Roll the pieces in the brown sugar mixture. Be sure to pack some in the ends. Place on the rack.
Bake until golden brown. About 35 minutes for me.
Cover with foil on a heavy dish to keep warm until served. See above recipe notes about options to keep warm.
Originally Published January 15, 2012