Sweet & spicy bacon wrapped chicken with kale and caramelized walnuts


This meal was really amazing, especially considering that it came about from me thinking, “hmm what do we have in the house to eat?”. I has a really great flavor combination, its easy to make and it will leave your guest saying “wow!”

I would suggest brining the chicken if you can, but if you don’t have time you can skip that step.



  • 1 cup boiled water
  • 2.5 tbsp table salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tsp pepper

Main meal:

  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4-6 piece of bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili power
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Kale and walnut side dish

  • 4-5 leaves of fresh kale, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup whole or halved walnuts
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp butter and another 1/2 tsp butter


  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp corn starch mixed with cold water (do this once you’re actually making the sauce)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of cinnamon


  1. If you are not going to brine the chicken, skip steps 1-4. Combine 1 cup of hot water with salt and pepper and mix well until salt dissolves.
  2. Place chicken in a shallow dish that is deep enough to accommodate 3 cups of water and cover the chicken completely.
  3. In a large bowl combine hot water mix with cold water and pour over the chicken
  4. Let stand in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight
  5. Preheat oven to 400 F
  6. Combine chili powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, brown sugar and paprika in a small bowl and mix
  7. Brush the spice mix on to each piece of chicken, front and back
  8. Wrap each chicken piece with 1 piece of bacon
  9. Place all the chicken onto a baking dish
  10. Bake for 35 minutes. You can broil at the end for 2 minutes or so to crisp the tops. But you don’t need to do that
  11. While the chicken is baking, make your side dish. Heat a medium pan with some butter
  12. Add walnuts and brown sugar, turn heat to medium and stir frequently so the walnuts get covered in the melted sugar
  13. After about 5-7 minutes, remove walnuts from heat and carefully place them individually on a piece of parchment paper. You need to do this, or all your walnuts with cool to form a big sugar and walnut glob
  14. In a large pan, heat 1/2 tsp butter and add the kale, sprinkle with salt and lemon juice. Mix frequently and cook on medium heat until kale gets more tender.
  15. In a small pot combine buttermilk, cinnamon, salt, pepper and whipping cream and bring to soft boil, dont let it boil over, then turn heat to medium.
  16. Mix cornstarch with cold water until its is completely liquid and add it to the sauce. Stir it.
  17. Allow the sauce to heat a bit more for 2 minutes or so and turn the heat to low
  18. Toss walnuts into pan with kale and mix it together
  19. Remove chicken from oven and serve with kale and walnuts. Pour a small amount of buttermilk sauce over the chicken
  20. Enjoy!


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