Buttermilk is the secret ingredient that makes fried chicken so flavor-packed and bursting with juices. What's the main ingredient in a classic rich, tangy ranch dressing? Buttermilk. So, the ranch marinade, with a hit of chilies, on these chicken skewers goes a loooong way to have you begging for more tasty bird on a stick. And I suppose we can't ignore the fact that wrapping it in bacon certainly doesn't hurt.
SPICY BACON-WRAPPED CHICKEN SKEWERS
PREP TIME: 1 to 3 hours, to marinate
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory or Mesquite
1/2 cup ranch
2 to 3 tablespoons chile sauce like Sambal
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 red onion, cut into large chunks
1 green pepper, cut into large chunks
1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
8 slices bacon
Mix together the ranch, garlic powder, oregano and chile sauce, in a large bowl making it as hot as you like/can stand.
Add in the cubed chicken, tossing to thoroughly coat all of the pieces of chicken. Let the chicken marinate for 1 to 3 hours. If you're using wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water during this time to keep them from burning.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Preheat to 400 degrees F with the lid closed for 10 to 15 minutes.
Start assembling your skewers. First slide on a wedge of onion and a pepper or two. Next thread on a slice of bacon, starting at the end. Follow with one piece of chicken.
Turn the skewer 180 degrees and thread the bacon on the skewer again, followed by another piece of chicken.
Keep doing that, turning the the skewer 180 degrees after the addition of each piece of chicken so that the bacon weaves around the chicken pieces. Throw in a pepper or two into the mix and finish on the other end with a piece or two of pepper and a chunk of onion to hold the skewers together.
Do not overcrowd your skewer - give a little room between each piece of chicken so that it cooks faster and more evenly.
Repeat the same steps with the remaining skewers and chicken.
Place the skewers on the grill grate, keeping a piece of foil under the end of the skewers to prevent them from burning and to make turning them a lot easier.
Cook them for about 5 minutes per side, doing a quarter-turn each time, for a total of 20 minutes. If you're worried, use an instant-read thermometer to make sure they've reached 165 degrees F.
Take the skewers off and enjoy them while they're warm with some rice, or better yet a baked potato!