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Contest sponsored by the Texas Pecan Board

Sativa Rasmussen-Sanders, a member of Bandera Electric Cooperative, received $1,000 as the winner of the Savory category in the 2011 Texas Co-op Power Holiday Recipe Contest.

Rasmussen-Sanders, who lives in Pipe Creek with her husband, Ryan, and sons Ryeth, 15; Colsten, 9; and Vanden, 6; does a lot of cooking to feed her boys. “They eat a lot,” she said.

The inspiration for her Twisted Texas Chicken Diablos recipe came from eating similar dishes at area restaurants. She made a few changes, incorporating pecans and grilling or baking them instead of deep frying, as with the versions she’d eaten off local menus.

Twisted Texas Chicken Diablos

2 pounds chicken tenders
2/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons dry steak seasoning
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup chopped Texas pecans
12 whole fresh jalapeños
2 pounds thin-sliced bacon
2 cups barbecue sauce

Place chicken tenders in bowl, add orange juice and 1 tablespoon steak seasoning, stir, cover and set in refrigerator to marinate 1 or more hours, but not overnight. In separate bowl, mix cream cheese, pecans and 1/2 tablespoon steak seasoning, blend well by hand, and set aside. When ready to assemble, wash and slice jalapeños in half lengthwise, remove seeds, then rinse again. Fill jalapeño half with cream cheese mixture, place chicken tender on top of filling, wrap with 1 slice of bacon, and secure with large grilling skewer so that bacon stays wrapped around jalapeño. Place three stuffed jalapeños on each skewer. When finished, brush all finished jalapeños generously with barbecue sauce. Bake or grill until chicken is thoroughly cooked, approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees, turning halfway through cooking time and basting with more sauce. Baste one last time about 5 minutes before finishing cooking or use remaining sauce to serve.

Servings: 12. Serving size: 2 diablos. Per serving: 788 calories, 41.1 g protein, 47.6 g fat, 32 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g dietary fiber, 2,549 mg sodium, 13.7 g sugars, 134 mg cholesterol

Sativa Rasmussen-Sanders, Bandera Electric Cooperative