Thursday, March 14, 2013

baked chicken fingers


BAKED PARMESAN 
CHICKEN FINGERS 
W/ VEGGIE CHICKPEA SALAD

So as you know, loyal followers, I road-tripped to Michigan last weekend.  I am no stranger to car rides, seeing that I commute about 60 mi to work every day.  But don't worry, I carpool.  And thanks "the CP" I have developed some odd behind-the-wheel snacking behaviors.  This isn't helped by the fact that the standard CP podcast is the great "Mike and Tom Eat Snacks" (a new and long-overdue episode of which has been recently been posted).  

Before I continue with what is becoming a confessional post, let me just affirm that I am a really healthy eater and we all hit bottom at some point.

That being said, here are some of the snacking stints and phases +Dave Frantonius and I have fallen victim to in the past few years:
  1. Homemade breakfast sandwiches (this was year one of the CP, when we were more ambitious),
  2. Rockstar energy drinks and beef jerky combo (this was the year that I-94/"The Edens" was being repaved),
  3. that one time we stopped at the Chinese buffet on Addison (yeah, the one with the "over 80 items" posted on the sign),
  4. Shrimp Chips ('nuf said),
  5. Caramel Bugles,
  6. and most recently, ¡Sponch!
So back to last weekend's road trip.  Now, I'm sure many of you have at one point or another fallen victim to the roadside establishments that dot the midwestern landscape.  Between Gary, IN and Ann Arbor, MI lies a culinary desert, especially on Sundays when everything is closed.  Thus, I know you won't hold it against me when I confess to having stopped at the golden arches on the way home for some chicken nuggets and soft serve.

I haven't been to a McDonald's in at least six years, and probably under the exact same circumstances.  Caloric information posted on the menu!?  I got a grilled chicken sandwich instead (and watched Garrett eat chicken nuggets).

This version is much healthier, so go make it.

Ingredients for Chicken Fingers (makes 4 servings):
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into long strips
  • 1 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander 
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 eggs
Ingredients for Chickpea Salad:
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vineagar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly coat two baking sheets with non-stick spray or olive oil.

Mix all the dry ingredients for the chicken finger breading in a large bowl, and whisk the two eggs with about 2 tbsp. water.
Bread the chicken by rolling them in a layer of breadcrumbs, dunking them in the egg wash, then dredging them again with another layer of breadcrumbs.  Place on the baking sheet and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden brown.
While the chicken fingers bake, you can heat a large pan with a little olive oil to cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes, adding salt, until soft.  Add the diced zucchini and squash until lightly browned.  Add to a large bowl with the chickpeas and tomato, then toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

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