Maple mustard bacon chicken bites with an easy 2-ingredient dipping sauce makes a terrific appetizer for game day or any day. Be prepared to watch them disappear!
I love planning game day snacks for family and friends even though I'm not the biggest football fan (except for my alma mater, the UO Ducks - Go Ducks!). Huh?
Let me just say that growing up with a brother who is a sports fanatic (like, over-the-top) and then marrying someone who enjoys football means that football and me go way back.
I can follow the game, and I enjoy great catches and amazing plays with the rest of them. But you know what I like the most? I love the sound of the game on the television - it makes me feel warm and cozy and it's oddly comforting, probably because I've heard it on fall and winter Sundays my entire life.
Plus, I really enjoy the social aspect of it and the memories created with special games and the food to go along with it. It's just another easy family tradition you can create for your kids.
Hmm, did you think it was the food I liked best about game day? Well, that, too! And especially on the big game day because we always have a large spread of finger foods, no matter who is watching with us. It's a fun tradition we enjoy every year.
Real food onion dip usually makes an appearance with potato chips and veggies, along with a warm dip with bread like this skillet cheesy chicken artichoke dip, plus guacamole with chips, or hummus with pita. I'll add more cut veggies and an easy snack like this nut mix and then bring out a plate of cookies for the last quarter.
So yeah, there is food, and it's good.
But you know what we've been missing? These bacon chicken bites. They are SO good - we demolished the platter the first time I made them. And while they're good on their own, it's the dipping sauce that really makes them shine.
I developed these based on a couple of our family's favorite recipes, overnight peppered maple-mustard bacon and maple-mustard chicken, using the simple but super flavorful combination of maple and mustard to marinate the chicken as well as brush it on the bites before baking.
I hope you like this as much as we do!
Make Maple Mustard Chicken Bites
The first step to make these - or any recipe where you'll need to bake or grill with wood skewers - is to soak the toothpick skewers. It's easy to do it while making the recipe - that's plenty of time for them to soak.
Partially cooking the bacon helps it to crisp more after wrapping the chicken without overcooking the chicken.
I thought I'd pass along my favorite tip for cutting chicken in small pieces - kitchen scissors! I find it easier to cut squishy raw chicken with scissors than a knife. Try it and see if you like it, too.
Wrap the chicken pieces with bacon, brush with more sauce and sprinkle with black pepper.
Bake until the bacon is brown and crisp and the chicken is cooked through. Mix up the 2-ingredient dipping sauce while the bites bake.
Serve and watch them disappear!
Maple Mustard Bacon Chicken Bites
- 20-24 round toothpicks
- 3 chicken thighs or 1 breast about 1 lb.
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 10-12 slices bacon cut in half*
- coarse-ground black pepper optional
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Place toothpicks in a small bowl of water to soak while preparing the recipe.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place bacon halves on a baking sheet and bake until partially cooked, about 5 minutes for regular bacon, 8-10 for thick (depending on how thick the slices). Remove from oven and lower temperature to 375 degrees.
- Meanwhile, mix the 1/4 cup mustard with 2 tablespoons syrup in the bottom of a medium-sized bowl.
- Cut chicken into pieces (about 3/4-inch) and add to bowl; stir well to coat.**
- Wrap each piece of chicken with one bacon half, securing with a wet toothpick and placing the bites on a lined baking sheet. When all pieces are wrapped, brush the bites with the remaining sauce in the bowl and sprinkle with black pepper on all sides.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until done, turning the bites over at the 10 minute mark.
- While the bites are baking, mix up the sauce in a small bowl (you can heat it if desired or serve at room temperature).
- When bites are browned and cooked through (160 degrees), place them on a platter with the bowl of dipping sauce and serve immediately.
Other Easy Appetizers To Try:
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