Pretzel Crusted Chicken Skewers with Buffalo Ranch Dip
I think my father could’ve used a son.
I’m not saying that he doesn’t love my sister, me and my two stepsisters dearly, but he’s a man’s man. My father loves fishing, golfing, NASCAR, and bowling. As a father to four girls, my dad had to play with our Barbies, help paint our nails, and occasionally listen to our ‘perfect’ rendition of Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca”. Sorry Dad!
Although my dad put up with a lot of girly-stuff, he did teach me how to fish and bowl. Some of my favorite memories with my father are Sundays in October, November, and December: Football Season. I love football season more than a lot of other things.
As a New Englander, you might presume that I’m a New York Giants or New England Patriots fan. Bleh! Sorry, Giants and Pats fans! I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan–born and raised.
My father grew up loving the Eagles even though he never lived in or near Philadelphia. Being an Eagles fan has had it’s disappointments (cough-cough-the 2015 season), but growing up, football Sundays meant family time. My dad, stepmom, and sisters would huddle together on the sectional on Sunday afternoons during Eagles games; we would hold a stuffed bear that wore an Eagles jersey for good luck. I give my father a lot of credit for sticking with a team for over three decades and never losing faith.
My family’s love for football (especially my dad and biological sister) goes beyond the NFL. A few years ago, my sister was an undergrad at University of Delaware. This was at the same time that Joe Flacco was playing college ball (see Baltimore Ravens). My family went to visit my sister during Homecoming Weekend and decided to tailgate before the game started.
We found a nice, shady area to make sandwiches before the game. Now, my family isn’t petite. We are big boned and tall, very tall. My dad is 6 feet 6 inches in height. Yeah, he’s a giant. My sisters and stepmom are all at least 5 feet 8 inches tall. Okay, so where was I? I got a little distracted.
We set up our sandwich, snacking, and drinking station on an old picnic table. The majority of my family was also sitting at the table. Being the doubter of the family, I didn’t trust the picnic table to hold all of our food as well as our weight. Well, after much cajoling from my family, I took a thigh to the bench.
As soon as I placed my weight on the bench, the entire picnic bench collapsed.
Yes. Picture an “X” becoming an underscore line “__”.
Luckily, my sister grabbed the vodka for the Bloody Marys and everyone held tightly onto their sandwiches. R.I.P. Homecoming bench.
There is an explanation for why I’m blabbing on about my father, football, and broken benches! Super pinky-swear promise.
It’s tailgating season aka let’s-eat-all-of-the-delicious-treats season.
Tailgating season can be difficult if you’re trying to be health-conscious like so many of us are today. That’s why I’d love to tell you about Nuts.com and their healthy snacks page. The wonderful individuals over at Nuts.com are helping people just like you and me make smart snacking choices everyday. They demonstrate a passion for health, happiness, and meaningful snacking!
Luckily, I’m here to share the perfect tailgate snack for you: Pretzel Crusted Chicken Skewers with Buffalo Ranch Dip. The ranch dip is homemade and super flavorful. It’s made with light ingredients that don’t leave you feeling guilty after you nibble on one or two skewers. Like the fine folks over at Nuts.com, I believe that delicious and healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. The crust for these chicken skewers is made with pretzel crumbs and spices. This tailgate snack is easily portable and tastes fantastic warm or cold!
- 3 cups twist pretzels
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 6 chicken breast tenders (cut in half vertically - 12 skewers in total)
- 12 skewers (soak for a few seconds before placing in oven)
- 1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup low fat greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons buffalo wing sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chives
- 1/4 teaspoon dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small-sized mixing bowl beat two eggs. Set aside.
- Place pretzels and spices in food processor and pulse until pretzels become small bits and crumbs. If you like a less crunchy coating, pulse until only crumbs are left.
- Set up station for breading chicken. Dip chicken tenders into pretzel crumbs, then into egg, and back into pretzel crumbs. Skewer chicken vertically with wooden dowel.
- Place chicken skewers on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat eleven times until all chicken has pretzel coating.
- Place in oven for 22 minutes, but flip skewers over halfway through baking to make sure chicken does not burn.
- While chicken is baking, make ranch dressing. In a small food processor, pulse together buttermilk, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, and buffalo wing sauce until creamy and smooth. Add in spices and herbs. Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve skewers.
- Remove chicken from oven and let sit for a few minutes before tasting and dipping in sauce.