Bacon and jalapeño take these grilled chicken skewers to the next level
As the author of The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook and founder of HungryFan.com, Daina Falk is an expert on “fangating” (aka “tailgating”). She also grew up hanging out with Michael Jordan, her sports-agent father David Falk’s most famous client. Then she became a “Cameron Crazy” as a student/fan at Duke University. Now Falk, 34, is working on “total world domination” — one recipe at a time. We chatted with Falk, who is as passionate about grilling as she is sports.
What was it like growing around so many famous athletes?
It was like having really tall, really strong uncles. Over the years, I’ve maintained a relationship with them. We’re not like bros or whatever. I don’t go to the golf course with Michael Jordan or anything, but he is like an uncle and was kind enough to write a recipe (in The Hungry Fan’s Game Day Cookbook).
What kind of Duke basketball fan were you?
I went to games. I hung out in K-Ville [Krzyzewskiville], and got the flu in February just like everybody else does, because we were sleeping outside. It was fun. Had a lot of beer. Had a lot of pizza. Yep, did it all.
What’s your favorite Duke basketball memory?
After the (2001 national title) game, we went back to the hotel where the Duke team was staying, and we were with Elton Brand (6’9”, 255), who was one of my dad’s clients. But the lobby was just bananas. There were people everywhere. It was nuts. I clung onto Elton’s back, and he walked us through. He got me to where I needed to go, and I got to hold the trophy and take pictures.
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers
This recipe is perfect for grilling at the ballpark or in the backyard. “If you add bacon to anything, everyone will eat it,” says Falk. “And nothing says summer like grilling outside with friends and family.”
• 1 1⁄4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch chunks
• 3⁄4 cup fresh pineapple chunks
• 1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
• 10 white mushrooms
• 1 large zip-top bag
• 1⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 1⁄2 tsp onion powder
• 1⁄2 tsp garlic salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 12 (9-inch) wooden skewers
• 6 slices bacon, each cut into 3 pieces
• 2 whole jalapeño peppers, cut into thin rounds, seeds removed
• Preheat grill (or a grill pan, over medium-high).
• Place chicken, pineapple, bell peppers and mushrooms in zip-top bag. Add soy sauce, olive oil, vinegar, onion powder, garlic salt and black pepper. Seal bag, place in refrigerator, marinate for 45 minutes.
• Soak skewers in water for 30 mins.
• Place jalapeño slice on each side of chicken chunk. Wrap them in slice of bacon and secure. Repeat with the remaining jalapeño, chicken and bacon on other skewers.
• Load remaining skewers, alternating pineapple, peppers and mushrooms.
• Drizzle chicken skewers with remaining marinade. Grill for 25-30 minutes, until bacon is crisp and the chicken is fully cooked.
• Grill vegetable skewers until grill marks appear, about 15 minutes.