Chicken Stickin’

I’m making Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Roast Chicken this evening (a shout out to my husband for his terrific balcony summer herb garden!) and contemplating leftovers.  I am starting a full-time job later this week for the first time in two years, and the prospect of making five lunches a week–every morning–is daunting.  I proposed that I ought to memorize Amanda Grant’s beautiful book on lunchboxes for kids.  My husband suggested simply that I might be more strategic about cooking in advance.  He is something of an expert in efficiency, and on this count, he’s right.

That said, even writing about the daily lunchbox has me feeling panicked, so I will save these musings for a day when I feel a bit more in control.

Switch to contemplating chicken.  If I have the curse of the vegetable-abhorring toddler, I am quite blessed that Babyman adores protein in all its incarnations.  Tonight he even ate an organic tofu veggie burger from Trader Joe’s!  But the dirty secret I have to share is this: in our house, all protein is referred to simply as “chicken”.  Turkey meatballs?  Chicken.  Steak?  Chicken.  Canned tuna?  Chicken.  Fish is the one exception, as Babyman does like those cornmeal fish bites (see previous post).

My sister is a health and fitness guru and also quite a wonderful cook.  When I started on my baby food crusade she suggested the recipe below, which she serves with sweet potato fries.  She uses flour; I use either flour or cornmeal…and if you really want to be down-homey you could probably used crushed Corn Flakes, although that isn’t usually my style.

Chicken Picks
1 chicken breast, cut into strips (or chicken breast tenders)
flour or cornmeal
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely shredded
olive oil

Mix flour and parmesan cheese together on a plate to create a batter.  Coat chicken strips on all sides.  Heat olive oil in a frying pan and cook chicken tenders thoroughly, flipping once (about five to ten minutes per side).

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