Cracker Chicken Bites – Bite-size chicken balls mixed with White Cheddar Crackers and poblano peppers, rolled in crushed crackers and bacon, baked until super crispy.
When given the opportunity to host a party, gathering, event, you name it, I often will jump at the chance. My place is small but I have managed to pack 21 adults in my place. That was no small feat, mind you. This time of year is filled with award shows and lots and lots of big games.
With basketball season winding down, the frenzy is about to begin. I don’t watch much regular season basketball, but the playoffs, well those are some serious fun games. The excitement is felt right through the TV screen into my own living room. I have no particular favorite team, in fact, if I confessed how I root for teams you all might shoot me, so I will keep that under wraps.
Now, while I love the award shows and games, we all know I love the food. When watching basketball games, because they are so fast paced, I have learned to make my food small and bite sized. The reason being, less mess. Have you seen what happens when a bunch of adults are holding plates of food, larger pieces of food, and an important score or a particularly heinous foul occurs…the mess is bigger than what my daughter ever made when learning to feed herself. I have found it best to create food that can be tossed in the mouth and be done with, like these Cracker Chicken Bites, because you never know when the hands are going to be thrown up in the air (for good or bad) with a plateful of food with them.
Game Day Grub
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To prepare, I, of course, needed to shop, so I headed to Walmart to grab all the necessary ingredients. Personally, I love shopping on Sundays because all stores are a near ghost town. I was able to grab what I needed to make these Cracker Chicken Bites and head home to cook. I love snacking on Cheez-it Crackers all on their own, and when I say love I mean LOVE.
In order to prepare for the snacking that I knew would ensue by simply opening the package, I grabbed 2 extra boxes. I fully blame my grandmother for these Snackable Moments, as these are her favorite cracker in the world. Not only did I grab the Grooves, but I picked up Cheez-It Crunch’d, a new cheddar puff. Those are just as addicting and it wasn’t long before all the teenage guests devoured the 2 bowls I had set out, but who can blame them really?
Cracker Chicken Bites
Cracker Chicken Bites - Bite-size chicken balls mixed with White Cheddar Crackers and poblano peppers, rolled in crushed crackers and bacon, baked until super crispy.
- 1 9-oz box White Cheddar Cheez-It Grooves; crushed and divided 1 cup/1 1/2 cup
- 1 poblano pepper; finely diced
- 1 cup white onion; finely diced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs; ground in the food processor (or use ground chicken)
- 2 eggs
- 3 1/2 tbsp bacon; finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt/pepper +/- to taste
- Creamy Cilantro Dressing
Crush the entire box of White Cheddar Cheez-it Grooves, place one cup of crumbs in a large mixing bowl and the remaining in another smaller bowl with the bacon crumbles.
In a saute pan over medium-high heat, cook the onion and pepper together until soft, about 5 minutes.
While the onions and pepper cook, run the chicken in the food processor to break up. I use whole boneless, skinless thighs because they yield deeper flavor and a heartier texture.
Add the chicken, sautéed veggies, eggs, 1 cup of crushed White Cheddar Cheez-it Grooves, and the salt/pepper. mix well. The mixture will be very wet.
Form tiny 1-inch balls and and coat them in the cracker/bacon mixture.
Spray a cooking racking resting on a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place each ball on a sprayed rack, repeat until all the balls have been formed, about 36 in total.
Spray each ball with cooking spray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or until a thermometer reads at least 165 degrees.
In the interest of full disclosure…I made this recipe twice in a row. The first reason was I made the bites into actual balls, making them too big for an appetizer, but the real reason, my guests ate them all before I could even get pictures done, the were that good. I gave one as sample, stepped out of the room for a minute to get things I needed to take pictures, and by the time I came back, well I was left with very, very few!