Took out some frozen organic chicken breasts the other day for a play date that got cancelled and between one thing and another, I hadn’t done a thing with them. And it was time.
So, it’s 9 p.m. and I’ve finally got the kid asleep and some order in the kitchen — indeed, an uncharacteristic bit of sparkle, as I went in with more extreme products than usual — and a small glass of wine waiting for me (which will probably be sitting there tomorrow morning, untouched…) and it’s time to cook.
What To Do? It’s not like I have hunger to inspire me or energy to leaf through books or any exciting new vegetable I want to experiment with. I just want the damn chicken cooked so I can get to bed because 5:30 a.m. will be here before I know it.
So, basic chicken tenders will do. They are simple, but the cheese, garlic and Italian seasonings keep them from being boring. I don’t pound them too much, as I want them juicy and thick.
Tomorrow I can slather them in sauce and cheese, stick them in the oven and call them chicken parmesan if I like, or pack them up for Leandro’s lunch with some ketchup on the side, or roll them up in a wrap or slice them into a salad for myself. There’s not enough to freeze, but they’ll be fine a couple of days in the fridge once they are cooked and they will certainly be handy. They will make two meals each at least for me and the kid.
So, bang-bang, chop-chop, and they are done in no time! Nitey-nite!
Simple Juicy Chicken Tenders
Two boneless chicken breasts (about 1lb), pounded to evenness – 1 inch or less
½ cup Italian style bread crumbs or plain breadcrumbs seasoned with a Tbs of Italian herbs
1 Tbs grated grana padano or parmigiano reggiano
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice chicken breasts into long strips (cutting with the grain).
Place breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic and seasonings in a bag. Pour oil into a bowl. Dip chicken strips into the oil, then place in bag. Seal bag and shake to coat chicken thoroughly. Lay strips on greased baking sheet (or – even better, ridged rack).
Bake for 20 minutes, turning once. For greater crispness, place under the broiler for five minutes.