Friday, February 10, 2012

Grilled Chicken Strips with Dipping Sauces (in 6 minutes)


Kids love to dip food, and let's admit it, so do adults. This chicken dinner is like what you'd find at a McDonald's drive through, except you get to control the ingredients. Instead of breaded nuggets, you make grilled chicken strips. Instead of mystery sauces, you choose your condiments. Instead of six minutes in your car waiting for them to hand you a warm paper bag, it's six minutes in your kitchen waiting to sit down for a family meal. This recipe isn't gourmet or genius, but it's fast, easy, and fun.

Dinner doesn't always have to be a complicated recipe or a lot of ingredients - that's for days you have extra time (and I know for a lot of you, especially with kids, those days are few and far between!) Since this is a simple weeknight dinner, you can have fun with the presentation. Set the table. Pour everyone a glass of water or milk. Try putting the sauces in fun serving bowls and give everyone their own cup of chicken strips wrapped in parchment paper. As long as you're all sitting, and eating together, you and your kids will reap the benefits. You will be able to pay attention to eating, making it less likely the food will be gone between commercials without your realizing it. For your kids, the benefits are practically endless. Research shows that kids who participate in family meals eat more fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich foods, do better in school, and have higher self esteem than their peers. They are also less likely to be overweight, and less likely to smoke, drink, and take drugs. Chicken strips are pretty powerful.

Grilled Chicken Strips with Savory & Sweet Dipping Sauces 
(serves 3-4 depending on how big the chicken breasts are - adjust as needed)
Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 dipping sauces of your choice. Try BBQ sauce (look for one without high fructose corn syrup), spicy mustard, ketchup, and honey.
Vegetable of choice

Place chicken on a grill (like a panini press or Foreman grill) and cook until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about six minutes.

While the chicken cooks, prepare your vegetable. Either heat up frozen vegetables or microwave fresh vegetables. To microwave a vegetable, cut it into bite size portions, place in a microwave safe bowl with about 2 tablespoons of water, cover with a plate, and microwave for about 4-6 minutes, until tender. The timing will depend on the veggies - check out this resource for more information.

When the chicken is done, let it cool slightly, and then cut into strips at a diagonal. 

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