Fondue Dippers: Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Spinach, Blanched Vegetables and Apples

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

6 slices good quality smoky bacon, halved across (recommended: Oscars from Warrensburg)

12 chicken tenders

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika

1 bunch radishes, trimmed

1 large red pepper, seeded and sliced 1/2-inch thick sticks

1 bundle white or thin green asparagus, trimmed

1 sack purple pearl onions or 1 jar pickled pearl onions, drained

1 jar mini gherkins, drained

1 bag pretzel rods

Whole-grain or seeded bread, diced for dipping

Fondue with Apple Brandy, recipe follows

Fondue with Apple Brandy:

1 3/4 cups dry white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/4 pound Gruyere, shredded

3/4 pound Emmentaler, shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 cup apple brandy

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Defrost spinach in microwave.
  3. Drizzle a little oil on large plate and have a rack sitting on baking a sheet or slotted broiler pan nearby. Halve the bacon across and reserve on a meat-safe prep board. Halve the chicken tenders and slide into the dish with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and paprika. Wring out the spinach in a clean dish towel and put the spinach in a small dish. Top each piece of chicken with a little spinach and wrap with bacon. Arrange, seem side down, on the baking pan. Bake until golden and firm, 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a few inches of salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Have a large bowl of ice water, for shocking the vegetables, ready as well. Add the radishes to the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute, then remove them and shock in ice water. Repeat with the pepper removing them with tongs or small strainer or spider. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes, then shock and reserve.
  5. If using fresh onions, add last and cook for 3 minutes to loosen skins. Shock them and use a towel to wipe away the skins.
  6. Arrange the meat, vegetables and pretzels around a fondue pot and serve with cubed bread in a basket.

Fondue with Apple Brandy:

  1. Put the wine in a fondue pot and bring to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the lemon juice, then add the cheeses in handfuls, stirring in a figure-8 motion with wooden spoon. When the cheese is fully melted, stir the cornstarch into the brandy, in a small bowl until smooth, then add to cheese. Season with nutmeg and cayenne and serve over a warming station for your fondue pot.
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