Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites are crispy, crunchy, juicy bites of chicken, perfect to serve with your favorite dip.
Hey folks, happy super bowl week!
That’s a thing right? No? Well it is in our house. Especially this year with the Broncos back in it!
We support an interesting mix of teams in this household. I’m a lifelong 49ers fan. I haven’t lived in the Bay Area since I was five years old, but early habits die hard. Now that we live in Houston, I also root for the Texans–not only because it’s the current home team, but also because JJ Watt is both lovable and insane. And finally Ross, a Denver native, has convinced me to cheer for the Broncos as well. Out of all those teams, the Broncos were the most watchable this year–and in fact, things turned out pretty well for them, eh? That AFC championship game? ERMAHGERD. Hopefully the Super Bowl is not a disappointing end to the season. But either way, it’s our last chance to watch football for a few months, so let’s make the most of it. With beer and snacks!
We’re going to share some reeeeeally tasty snack recipes this week on the blog, and these pretzel crusted chicken bites are a great way to kick things off. Even better than regular old fried chicken! And that’s a high standard. But it’s true, and here’s why. For a party, you want to have bites you can make in advance, so you’re not trying to cook and entertain and watch the game all at once. That’s just tricky. And if you make or buy regular fried chicken ahead of time, it cools off and loses its crispiness. But roll that chicken in a coating of crushed pretzel, and as it turns out, it keeps its crunch for a couple hours at room temperature. Make it ahead and actually enjoy your own party! Genius!
I used chicken tenderloins for this recipe, cut in 2-3 inch pieces, but you can also cut up chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs. I usually prefer dark meat, but the coating on this chicken keeps it so darn juicy that white meat works perfectly well. You can also use different kinds of pretzels – sticks, twists, crisps, different flavors, whatever grabs your fancy.
These pretzel crusted chicken bites go great with a bunch of different dips. Pictured: queso. Not pictured: hummus, ranch, guacamole, or my favorite, bacon jam! What’s a party without multiple dips.
Important point: if you eat these chicken bites without any kind of topping, you might think they need a touch of salt. Surprising, since pretzels are obviously salted, but true. If you’re dipping them in various things (like queso), that probably won’t be an issue. But just something to keep in mind if you’re planning to serve them plain.
These bites are going to be a hit at your super bowl party. Make them before your guests arrive and have them on hand ready to go. Guaranteed score. No matter what team you root for. Or don’t root for. Go snacks!
Adapted from Fine Cooking.
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 cups salted pretzels
- About 1½ lbs of fresh chicken (breast, tenderloin, or boneless thighs)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt (optional, to taste)
- ½ cup canola oil
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, or whatever size you prefer.
- Place the flour into a medium sized bowl.
- Whisk the eggs and mustard together in a second medium sized bowl.
- With a food processor, crush the pretzels into a coarse flour with some larger bits remaining. Put the pretzel in a third medium sized bowl. Place the bowls in a row.
- Sprinkle each piece of chicken with freshly ground pepper. If you will be serving the chicken plain, without a dip, you may sprinkle with a little salt as well.
- Roll the chicken in flour, then dip in egg. Finally, roll in the pretzel crumbs.
- Place the chicken on a baking tray and refrigerate for 5 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it's between 300-350 F. It will be hot but not smoking. Using tongs, carefully place a few pieces of chicken in the pan, allowing some room between the pieces. Let cook about two to three minutes, then turn over. Continue cooking until both sides are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, about another three minutes. The chicken should register 165 F when tested with a meat thermometer. If the oil becomes too hot, turn down the heat to medium.
- When chicken is cooked through, remove with tongs and place on a layer of paper towels on a plate or baking sheet. Continue cooking the remaining chicken. Serve with dip and enjoy.
Adapted from Fine Cooking.