Caprese Popcorn Chicken
It’s official: I need a break from dessert.
The past two weeks have been a non stop onslaught of sugar mania, and I’ve finally reached my limit. It’s like somewhere between my 500th cookie and 8000th bite of chocolate, I casually started to wonder if things were out of hand. I guess boundaries just aren’t my thing.
So with Christmas a mere seven days away - ?!*@#!! – I decided to chill on sweets and get back to my love of the savory side of life. And Caprese Popcorn Chicken? It’s like the gold medal of scrumptious savory deliciousness.
If I’m being honest (ugh, ’tis the season?) I haven’t totally given up on sweets. I’m pretty sure if I cut out sugar all together, I’d go into cardiac arrest, or slip into a catatonic shock, or something equally dramatic that makes absolutely no sense. My soap opera of a life practically demands that I make extreme assertions that are probably only 4% true, so yeah – I’m down to like 12 baked goods a day.
So while I slooowly wean myself off of my never-ending sugar high, I issued a self intervention and decided to get some protein in my life, stat. And not with some boring steamed-broccoli-and-filet-of-whatever kind of dinner. I’m talking about a totally yummy appetizer that brings the healthy and is mega times tasty, too. Something easy to prepare (the sugar’s makin’ me lazy!), looks all sorts of pretty (I’m kinda shallow), and is absolutely perfect for holiday entertaining (duh – 1 week).
Thank god for Perdue and their Frozen Popcorn Chicken.
Whenever I need a poultry fix, I’m always reaching for Perdue chicken. Their products are simply reliable, with good packaging, accurate cooking guides, and most importantly – delicious taste. So when I picked up a bag of their fully cooked, Frozen Popcorn Chicken, I knew I was in for something awesome. At first I enjoyed them all on their own, with their perfectly tender insides and crispy, lightly breaded coating the only excuse I needed to eat three servings in one sitting. But besides tasty, they’re 100% adorable, too. All little and perfectly popable, you could easily eat four or five pieces at once! I mean… I think you could. Not that I would do that. Or did that. A few times.
I guess I figured if I put a skewer between me and my chicken, I’d have to slow the heck down. And since I was already threading things on a stick, adding a seasonal touch like caprese just made sense. And so did a sweet & tangy balsamic glaze, because ohemgeeee – this glaze rules.
So if you’re on-deck to play hostess, pre-prep the caprese portion a few hours in advance and store in the fridge until needed, sliding on the chicken and drizzling with the glaze just before serving. And if you’re joining a potluck, these babies transport perfectly in tupperware and taste just as good at room temperature, too. And if you’re just feeling plain-old lazy? (no judgment!) Skip the glaze all together and use a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette instead – The chicken is the real star, anyway.
Caprese Popcorn Chicken
Yield: 7 servings
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
- 10 oz Perdue Popcorn Chicken (~20 pieces)
- 12 oz Bocconcini (Mini Mozzarella Balls)
- 1/2 cup Mini Pearl Grape Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Baby Spinach Lettuce
- PAM Cooking Spray to grease
- 20 "Good Cook" Skewer Brochettes
- 3 tbsps Apricot Jam
- 3 tbsps Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Water
- In small skillet heat apricot jam and 1 1/2 tbsps apple cider vinegar over medium heat until well combined. Next add balsamic vinegar, bringing mixture to a boil before reducing flame to low. Allow ingredients to simmer for 1-2 minutes, then transfer mixture to heat proof dish. Whisk in remaining apple cider, then water, until a dressing-like consistency is achieved. Set aside.
- Place frozen chicken in single layer on well greased baking sheet, spacing evenly. Bake at 400F on middle oven rack for 15 minutes until crispy and golden, then set aside to cool.
- While chicken cooks, thread skewers with a tomato, a spinach leaf, and a mozzarella ball. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, thread a piece of chicken to the end of each stick. Re-wisk sauce, then drizzle over skewers. Immediately plate and serve, pairing with extra sauce on the side if desired.
>> Glaze will be thick when you remove from stove in step one - the added apple cider vinegar and water thins it out.
>> Glaze can be reheated in microwave for 30 seconds before drizzling in step three.
Calories: 201 Fat: 12g Carbohydrates: 7g Protein: 14g
*I received these Frozen Popcorn Chicken from Perdue. All commentary and opinions are my own.