This is a carb-less play on the popular Texas Cheese Fries. I’m not a carb counter, but I’m also not a huge fry guy so, chicken seemed like a great sub.
It’s also one those dishes that does great as game day grub. It hits all the necessary criteria: ooey-gooey, cheesy, loaded with bacon and it’s finger food.
Or in my case, it was my second lunch. Yep. I made it with every intention of sharing with Cole as an after school snack, but got hungry and ended up eating the whole pan. The only problem was I forgot to wash out the pan before he could see the sticky crumbed remnants. That of course led to me making it a second time in one day. Which led to it ending up here on the blog!
- 1½ lbs. chicken tenders
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese
- 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large jalapeno,
- 3 tablespoons green onions
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine and mix together salt, paprika, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle and rub spice mixture over chicken pieces. Drizzle on vegetable oil on top of seasoned chicken and rub pieces together to evenly distribute oil. Place chicken on bake sheet, taking care not to stack any on top of one another and leaving at least ½ inch between each piece.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 3-4 minutes. Remove bake sheet from oven and flip chicken pieces to the other side and bake for another 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a cast iron pan, (or continue on the bakesheet), sprinkle with cheese and jalapeno. Return to the oven and increase heat to 425 degrees F. Bake until cheese is melted, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle green onions and crumbled bacon on top. Serve immediately. *Optional: Serve with Ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
So guess what? I still owe the kid another pan of these Texas Chicken Fries, because by the time I was done shooting them, they were cold.