Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Oriental Chicken Bites

This may just be the very first savoury recipe I ever did as I kid. And it took me straight home.
My mom gave me a cookbook when I was 7 or 8, I think. And I focused all of my attention on the baking recipes because I was scared to light a match for the stove to start up. I eventually finished all the baked goods recipes and didn't even have any idea what "cup" meant. I mean, I used a coffee mug for crying out loud (try to imagine when the recipe called for 1/4 cup... I'd put some ingredient in the mug and think "Meh! That must be 1/4 of this. Nailed it." And when the recipe asked me to "beat the sugar and butter".... you guessed it. I punched it in the bowl. 🙄) Anyways, since this recipe had bacon in it, I was immediately drawn to it. Plus, it was bite-sized. So snack-able.

So if an 7 or 8 year old can do this, I'm telling you, it's easy.

I had a few bacon slices left in the freezer and a ziplock batch of deboned chicken thighs. I always buy the family pack of chicken thighs since they're a lot cheaper and I just debone them at home and portion them in ziplocks. I also had a mason jar of homemade orange marmalade (I'll try to post a recipe for this too). I honestly didn't know what else to do with the marmalade unless I had toast or scones with it - good thing I thought about this dish. I couldn't remember the exact ingredients and measurements from the original recipe but I was able to replicate it. And we devoured the dish waaaay too fast! Carlo obviously ate it with sushi rice. I just had a miso soup and some edamame beans to go with it. Oh, and while I was cooking it, I got the pre-seal of approval. The, "That smells good! I'm getting hungry!" compliment. 😉

You can serve these as appetizers, finger foods, or a viand served over rice with some spinach ohitashi or stir-fried string beans on the side.

Bacon-Wrapped Oriental Chicken Bites
This recipe makes 15 pieces of these nuggets. If you want more or are serving it as starters, just double the recipe. Note that I don't include salt in the ingredients below because there's already a few salt sources - bacon, soy salt, and even the Worcestershire sauce. So, if you do need to have it saltier, just add it on your own.

You'll need a container/Tupperware for marinating, toothpicks, a skillet, and a skillet/pot cover.

2-inch piece/lobe of ginger, sliced (To peel the ginger, it's much easier to peel with a teaspoon, scraping against the skin. This way, you don't lose any of the ginger meat and even open up the ridges of the ginger so it oils better. See the photo below for reference.)
1.5 tbsp garlic powder (If you don't want to use powder and prefer fresh garlic, use about 3 garlic cloves and slice thinly.)
2 tbsp orange marmalade
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

5 bacon strips
2-3 chicken thighs, deboned

1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp butter

sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or straight to a container you'll be using to marinate with.

2. Slice the bacon strips to 3 equal parts. Slice the chicken thigh fillets into 1x1-inch pieces, it's okay if some pieces are bigger. No need to be strict about it. (Since you have 5 bacon strips sliced into 3, you should also have 15 pieces of cut-up chicken.)
3. Wrap each chicken piece inside a bacon strip and skewer to fasten with a toothpick.
4. Marinate the bacon and chicken skewers in the marinade for 30 minutes in the chiller.
5. Heat up your skillet to low-medium heat (This way, you don't burn the bacon before the chicken cooks through. Also, I don't add any oil to this recipe because the oil from the bacon has you covered).
6. Evenly space out each skewered piece on the pan and sear for 3 minutes. Cover with a lid and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Flip them over and do the same. Once fully cooked, set aside on a plate and continue cooking the rest of the pieces. (Note: Do not include the ginger slices when frying, or even the orange peels from the marinade. Leave them on the container and strain it out later. You leave these out of the frying process because they burn quickly and will come out bitter.) Once all pieces are cooked, they should have a nice caramelized colour.
7. Strain the marinade left in the container and discard any of the ginger and orange peels. Strain your pan too to discard any of the bacon oil accumulated and wipe with a paper towel Return the pan to the heat.
8. Transfer the strained marinade to the pan, add 1/4 cup water, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens. Once thick, top off with butter and swirl for 45 seconds and turn off the heat. (The butter with give it a nice shine and will give the dish a nice nutty flavour too.)
9. Top the cooked bacon-chicken bites with the sauce and sprinkle some sesame seeds to garnish.
10. Enjoy!

*If you don't eat pork, you can probably try it with turkey bacon. I haven't personally tried this. But keep in mind that turkey bacon doesn't sweat like how pork fat does. So adjust the recipe, you'll probably need to add 1 tbsp of light olive or vegetable oil before searing. Also, turkey bacon cooks faster because it's lean and thinly sliced.

**I used orange marmalade here because I had so much left from my homemade batch. You can also try all the other jams or preserves you have in your pantry. Fig, peach, or apricot jams would definitely work too. You need that sweet and tangy taste to compliment the ginger and soy. Marmalade can be any citrus preserve, by the way. So it doesn't necessarily mean it's "orange". Although, in common usage, marmalade nowadays is associated with "orange preserve".

#donyaluzee #food #recipe #chicken #bacon #bites #nuggets #marmalade #oriental #ginger #garlic #soysauce #worcestershire #sesameseeds #snack #appetizer 


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