As a home chef, I love exploring the intricate world of flavors and textures, and I am always on the lookout for innovative ingredients and techniques to elevate classic dishes; especially finding something that my kids will enjoy too. When I first encountered Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites, I was both intrigued and excited by the creative potential they promised. Pretzels, with their crunchy, salty, and slightly nutty profile, have long been a beloved snack in my household. Transforming them into a culinary canvas for chicken bites is a daring move, one I was hoping would pay off and satisfy my kids’ palates, that piqued my culinary curiosity.
The Promise of Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites
When I first came across Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites, I was immediately drawn to the idea of merging two distinct worlds of snacking and dining. Pretzels, a timeless favorite for munching, were being reimagined as a coating for succulent pieces of chicken. The package promised a marriage of crispy, salty, and savory—a trifecta of flavors that had the potential to tantalize the taste buds and redefine the concept of finger food.
Prep Time: 10 -15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Total Time: 20-25 min
Unpacking the Ingredients
The Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites package proudly proclaimed the use of high-quality ingredients; so pairing them with a high-quality protein like chicken was inevitable:
- Chicken Breasts (2lbs of Chicken Breasts)
- Snyder’s Sourdough Pretzel Bites (Approx. ½ bag)
- Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs (1/2 bag of Panko Bread Crumbs, approx. 4oz)
- Flour (We used 2 ½ cups of flour, but it will depend on amount of chicken)
- Eggs (4 Eggs for this recipe)
- Salt and Pepper (To your liking, 2 used 2 teaspoons of each)
- Chili Powder (1 teaspoon)
- Olive Oil for cooking
Step by Step:
- In a blender, add Snyder’s pretzels and panko bread crumbs to about half way up the blender. Blend until both are fine and well-mixed, making it easy to coat the chicken. Once completed set to the side.
- Next, take your chicken breasts (we used about 2lbs of chicken to feed a family of 5), and dice the breasts into small bite size cubes or nuggets. You don’t want them too big or too small, we prefer a bit larger than popcorn chicken. Set them to the side until you’re ready to start breading.
- Next, we like to create a factory assembly line of all the steps that come with breading. Start going left to right, like you’re reading a book and that will lead you right into the cooking process.
- Bowl 1: Add Flour, garlic and chili powder- Mix together well
- Bowl 2: Add your eggs (we used 4 Eggs, however, that is dependent on how much chicken you’re cooking). It’s also important to add a Tablespoon of cold water. Make sure it’s cold water, as it helps thin the coating a bit
- Bowl 3: This is your Snyder’s Pretzel and Panko Bread Crumb mixture that you set aside from the first step.
- Before starting the assembly of your chicken bites, add olive oil, about half way up in large pan on the stove. We like to get the oil very hot, so turn the stove to medium-high.
- Setup your previously cubed, nugget-sized chicken to the left of the first bowl, and let’s begin. Make sure your chicken is dry, a quick pat down with a paper towel works great. Then grab a few pieces of chicken at a time and mix them in the Flour dredge. Once completely coated, move the pieces over to the egg wash. The Egg wash should be thin, this way you’re not getting clumps of egg on each piece; you’re just creating a nice cover for the Pretzel and Panko mixture to cling too. Once you have a nice egg wash on each piece, move the chicken bites into the Snyder’s pretzel and Panko mixture and toss around so each piece gets a fully covered coat of breading.
- When placing the chicken into the hot oil, remember, the oil can splash you; be careful as you put each piece down. We recommend placing each piece of chicken clockwise, starting at the top, and move from the outside in. This is a cooking trick which allows you to remember which piece started cooking first and needs to be turned first; and in what order. The cook won’t take long on each side, about 90-180 seconds on each side. As the chicken cooked, my kitchen filled with tantalizing scents—a blend of fried chicken and toasty pretzels. It was clear that the pretzel coating was becoming beautifully golden and crisp, promising an enticing crunch with every bite.
- Once you’ve achieved that golden crisp, remove from the pan, and set to the side allowing them to cool until ready to eat.
One of the most striking aspects of Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites is the texture. The combination of tender chicken and crunchy pretzel coating is a stroke of culinary genius. With each bite, you experience a symphony of textures—the initial crispness of the pretzel crust giving way to the juicy, succulent chicken within. This delightful interplay of textures makes each bite incredibly satisfying.
The pretzel crust itself deserves a special mention. It manages to maintain its crispiness remarkably well, even after the bites have cooled slightly. This makes them an excellent choice for kids, parties, and other gatherings, as they stay delicious and enjoyable throughout the event.
Texture is just one part of the equation; flavor is where Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites truly shine. The pretzel coating provides a robust, savory base with its salty, nutty notes. It’s as if the pretzels were destined to be paired with chicken—their flavors complement each other harmoniously.
The seasoning blend used in the pretzel coating is a masterpiece in itself. It’s not overly aggressive but adds a subtle depth of flavor that enhances the overall taste. The combination of herbs and spices creates a balanced profile that doesn’t overpower the chicken, allowing the natural flavor of the meat to shine through.
Versatile Culinary Canvas
Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites are not limited to being a mere snack or appetizer. Their versatility extends to a wide range of culinary applications. I found immense pleasure in experimenting with these bites to create other unique and flavorful dishes:
Dipping Delights: The pretzel crust is an excellent canvas for various dipping sauces. I paired the bites with everything from honey mustard to a smoky chipotle aioli, and each dip added a new layer of flavor complexity.
Slider Sensation: I couldn’t resist turning these bites into mini sliders. Placed between soft slider buns with lettuce, tomato, and a drizzle of ranch dressing, they made for an outstanding sandwich experience.
Salad Upgrade: For a healthier twist, I crumbled the pretzel-crusted chicken bites over a Caesar salad. The crunchiness of the coating added a delightful contrast to the crisp romaine and creamy dressing.
Breakfast Surprise: To my pleasant surprise, these bites made for an excellent breakfast addition. Served alongside scrambled eggs and avocado, they added a savory and crispy element to the morning meal.
Easy to Maintain and Stay Consistent
As a home chef, who sometimes has to cook quickly after sports or dance practice, I value consistency in the quality of ingredients, and Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites consistently delivered. In the multiple batches I prepared, the quality remained unchanged, which is a testament to their commitment to excellence.
While the indulgent, crunchy pretzel coating is undoubtedly a treat for the palate, it’s important to acknowledge the nutritional aspect. Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites are not intended to be a health food, and the salt content in the pretzel coating should be considered, especially for those with dietary restrictions. However, as an occasional indulgence or party snack, they can be enjoyed guilt-free. With that being said, however, chicken is a great source of protein, and this is a meal your kids will actually eat and come back asking for seconds.
For those looking to make a healthier choice, Snyder’s offers a gluten-free option that retains the same delectable crunch and flavor while catering to dietary preferences and restrictions.
A Game-Changer in Convenience Cuisine
In the world of convenience cuisine, Snyder’s Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites are a game-changer. They effortlessly bridge the gap between snack time and mealtime, offering a burst of flavor and texture that satisfies on multiple levels. From the ease of preparation to the consistent quality and delightful versatility, these bites have won my, and my kids’, culinary heart.
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