Bourbon Bacon Balls2018-12-14
There are days that ideas just come to me and pop in my head. This idea originated on a short road trip from Dallas to Austin -when I was thinking about things I like to eat -like sausage balls. Although this recipe is quite different, the sausage balls are originally what inspired me to create this appetizer.
- 1 pound of ground chicken
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne/red pepper
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 ounces of Pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup of pickled jalapenos (see my recipe, this is optional ingredient)
- 2 eggs, beaten thoroughly
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 packages of bacon
- 1 cup of bourbon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- tooth picks -for holding bacon into place on the balls
- lollipop sticks
How to make it:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne/red pepper and butter. Add grated cheese and toss to coat. Crumble up the chicken into the bowl -using your (clean) hands, combine well. The best way to full incorporate the mixture is to squeeze and squish, almost kneading it together. It takes a few minutes but it works. Add the nuts and pickled jalapenos to the mixture.
- Firmly roll into approximately 1 1/2 -inch balls.
- Take bacon strip and cut in half, then put into a shallow bowl (sheet pan). Pour the bourbon over the bacon and then add the brown sugar. Let soak for approximately 5 minutes.
- Take each chicken ball, dip into egg mixture. Then roll the ball into the Panko bread crumbs to cover. Once that is completed, pull out 1/2 of strip of bacon from the bourbon mixture and pin on the little ball with a couple of toothpicks.
- Lay each ball on a metal rack, covering a sheet pan about 1 inch or so apart. I would recommend you put foil over the sheet pan because the bourbon drips and causes smoke inside the oven. (Note: I learned this the hard way!) If you don’t have a metal rack, then spray the sheet pan or the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then open the oven and turn all of the balls over with tongs to cook in the other side. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, checking periodically to ensure the bacon is cooked.
- Once the balls are finished cooking in the oven, poke a lollipop stick inside them. If you have a party, buy the cake pop stand and display your Bourbon Bacon Balls. I found my stand at Hobby Lobby.
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