I’ve had this blackened chicken idea in my head for sometime now. It just took me awhile to figure out the best way to pull all the pieces together into a nifty little finger food. My original thought was to wrap the ingredients in pie dough. But I just used that dough for my crawfish pies. I decided instead to finish the Blackened Chicken Bites a couple of different ways and go with whatever recipe turned out best.
My first batch of Blackened Chicken Bites involved filling Tostitos Scoops with the cream cheese mixture, placing a piece of blackened chicken on top and baking them. That batch was just okay. The scoops got a little chewy and after a short while the bottoms turned soggy. My second batch involved rolling the blackened chicken and other ingredients in crescent roll dough. The crescent rolls were far superior to the Tostitos, but they were too big. So I made a third batch using half of each crescent roll triangle. The smaller crescent roll bites turned out just right and thus another recipe was born!
Thankfully, I never have that much trouble when it comes to the perfect pour. This past week, I built my own six-pack at our local liquor store. Have you ever done that? It’s lots of fun. The only drawback is falling in love with a beer you only have one of. Anyway, here’s my sampler: Hop Notch (Uinta Brewing Co.), Ruination IPA (Stone Brewing), 90 Minute IPA (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery), Easy Rider (Terrapin), Ten FIDY (Oskar Blues) and Stone IPA (Stone Brewing). I also picked up a case of Miller Lites for you know who. Hope you can find a keeper among them!
Until next week …
Blackened Chicken Bites Recipe
1 large chicken breast, butterflied
2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Blackened Seasoning Mix, divided
1/4 cup water
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 teaspoon Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
2 8-ounce packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until smoking hot, 5-10 minutes (This is best done outside over a propane burner. If cooking inside, turn range hood on high.) While skillet is preheating, pour half the melted butter in a shallow dish. Place 2 tablespoons of the Blackened Seasoning Mix in a separate shallow dish. Dip both sides of the chicken breast in the melted butter then dredge in the blackened seasoning. Place in hot skillet and reduce heat to medium-high. To minimize smoke and splatters, hold a large pan lid at a 45 degree angle over skillet and carefully pour reserved melted butter over chicken. Partially cover skillet and cook chicken until charred and no longer pink, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate; let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into 32 bite-size pieces. Reduce heat to medium and carefully deglaze skillet with water (I use the lid for this step too), scrapping the bottom with a spoon to release all the brown bits. Cook until liquid is reduced by one-half. Remove skillet from heat and scrape pan drippings into a large mixing bowl; cool slightly. Add cheeses, onions, bell peppers, Lea & Perrins and reserved 1 teaspoon Blackened Seasoning Mix to pan drippings; stir until thoroughly combined; set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a large cutting board, unroll crescent rolls; separate dough into 16 triangles (8 per package). Cut each triangle in half on the diagonal to form 32 triangles. Place one rounded teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on center of each triangle (you’ll probably have some left over). Top with 1 piece blackened chicken. Roll dough over filing and place on a large, lightly greased baking sheet. Brush each with olive oil and sprinkle tops with remaining 1 teaspoon blackened seasoning. Bake until golden brown, 13-15 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 32 Blackened Chicken Bites.