I am a little behind on my Recipe to Riches posts! Just over a week ago I threw out my back and decided that as much as I love doing interviews, product testing is all I am up for right now.
John Grass won $25,000 for his Chicken Grenades in the appetizer category in the Recipe to Riches contest. Former football player, now running a home for the elderly, he worked for three years to perfect this recipe.
The appetizer is a slice of bacon that is wrapped around chicken, cheese and jalapeno pepper, covered in an apple pepper jelly and dusted with a barbecue dry rub.
For $8.99, this is what you get when you open the box. I immediately had an issue. I was not having a party, I just wanted to try some and they were completely frozen together. I gave it a few minutes (which made me nervous, safety first!) and managed to break a few off and put the rest in the freezer.
You are supposed to put the “grenades” on aluminum foil that has been sprayed with a cooking spray.
As instructed I baked them on the middle wrack in a preheated 425F oven for 17-20 minutes. Then I used a spatula to remove them.
First, I do not like to cook on foil. At all. But I have a feeling the demographic who will buy this product will be more inclined to have foil than parchment paper.
Second, the bacon did not look thoroughly cooked to me and I like my bacon very crispy.
The cheese did ooze out but I honestly could not taste it. The jalapeno flavour was just so overpowering, I could barely taste the bacon. Not only that, it left a nasty aftertaste that was very unpleasant. I tasted no apple pepper jelly. It was all meat and heat, zero sweet. As a result I found it completely unbalanced and really, really did not enjoy the experience of eating it at all.
I am sure there are many people who will love this product though, I am just not one of those people. There was just not enough flavour and sweetness for me to ever eat this again. Maybe with a sweet dipping sauce it would be OK. If you want to try making these yourself you can find John’s recipe here. My blogging friend and official RtR blogger Mardi made them herself and really enjoyed them but they made a “holy mess” in her oven.
Oh and BTW, I am someone who would watch a football game and snack the day away. I used to be a huge NFL fan so do not think I am a foodie snob. I just need some sweet to beat that damn heat. I also personally do not like the name. I know I am in the minority but the idea of putting a “grenade” in my mouth is too violent an image for this foodie. I am a lover of martial arts, zombie and horror movies and make bloody meringue bones for Halloween but the image of blowing your head off with an appetizer disturbs even me. Reg said that it was a “guy thing…” Whatever. As I said, I’m probably in the minority but had to express my opinion which I am sure will be unpopular.
Sorry John. You are a big sweetheart and I wish I could say I love this product but I just can’t. My husband Reg would not go anywhere near it either, so it is not a gender issue in our house. I can only give this product two out of five wooden spoons.