I struggle with chicken for dinner. It is so versatile and easy to make, but I almost never am able to convince Katie to eat it and Chris’s chicken appetite is what I would call inconsistent. Of course, they will both eat chicken from the red and white bucket, as I have previously lamented…but chicken that I have so carefully prepared with real food ingredients…to be honest…is usually a failure. But this week, I hit the jackpot. I half heartedly made this version, not thinking that anyone under the age of 12 would actually eat it. I called it “Popcorn Chicken” but didn’t really think I was fooling anyone. I placed one lone, sad piece on each of their plates for them to try. And then, miracle of miracles, I heard “Yum! More chicken, please!” What the what?!! More chicken, please??! Okay! We have a winner! Popcorn Chicken! Into the rotation you go!
There are two versions pictured above. The piece on the left is seasoned with a Cajun spice mix and the one on the right is a very simple coating of Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. I also made a maple Dijon dipping sauce that Katie and I loved. Next time, I will double this recipe and freeze some. This recipe was adapted from the Iowa Girl Eats website. Enjoy!
~Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 3 lbs., cut into bite sized pieces
~1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
~1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
~salt and pepper
~2 Tbs water
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Whisk the water and eggs together in a medium bowl and add the chicken pieces, swirling them around so that they are evenly coated in the egg mixture.
3. Mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the egg coated chicken pieces and stir them in the bread crumbs until evenly coated.
4. Place the chicken in a single layer in a buttered 13×9 inch baking dish and spray lightly with cooking spray (I use olive oil in a mister). Bake for 10-15 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
MAPLE DIJON DIPPING SAUCE
~1/4 cup real maple syrup
~1/4 cup plain yogurt
~1 1/2 Tbs spicy brown mustard
Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the cooked chicken or serve it on the side for dipping.
If you make extra chicken to freeze, put it on a baking sheet after you’ve coated it in the breadcrumb mixture (before baking) and when frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag. When ready to use it, bake it at 425, directly from the freezer without thawing it first.