Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Recipe: Italian Chicken Strips

While trying out new recipes is a ton of fun and making complex dishes is exciting, it's always good to have a few easy weeknight recipes in your back pocket, so on those nights (like tonight, in my case) when you don't have the time or the ingredients to make a fancy dish, you can still make something delicious. I love this chicken strip dish because you more than likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already, and you can cheat and use jarred tomato sauce or marinara if you don't have the time or supplies to make your own. I plate my version with pasta topped with the chicken strips and a splash of marinara. Another great way to serve the chicken strips is to plate them like chicken fingers, using the marinara in place of ketchup or your usual condiment of choice, and serve potato wedges seasoned with Italian herbs (essentially, a play on french fries) as a side. These chicken strips would even be good between two slices of crusty Italian bread, topped with marinara and melted provolone (like a variation on a meatball sub).

Serves: 4
Prep. time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

  • 2-4 chicken breasts, sliced into strips (I used two to serve 3 people and we had some left over)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned, dry bread crumbs (Italian seasoning)
  • 2 tsp. dry basil
  • 1 tsp. dry parsley
  • 1 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Margarine or butter (at least 2 tbsp.)
  • Tomato or marinara sauce of your choice (I use Bertolli brand)

Preheat the oven to 200*F. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, basil, parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Whisk together with a fork until well blended. Put the beaten egg in a slightly smaller bowl. Dip the chicken strips into the egg, then dip them in the bowl with the crumb mixture, coating them completely. Set the strips aside on a plate to prepare for cooking. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat and add a little butter. Cook the chicken strips in batches, being sure to flip them over in the pan so they get golden brown on eat side (add more butter to the pan as you go along). Put cooked chicken strips in an oven-safe dish and put them in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining strips. In a small microwaveable pot with a lid, add the desired amount of tomato or marinara sauce and heat in the microwave until hot, about 2-4 minutes. Once the last batch of chicken is cooked and added to the dish with the other chicken, remove from the oven and serve the strips with the warm sauce.

This dish is incredibly easy and quick to make, and you probably won't have to go grocery shopping to make it because the ingredients should be readily available in your kitchen. Whether served atop pasta, alongside herb-crusted potato wedges, or in another way, these flavorful Italian-style chicken strips are sure to please.

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