Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wisconsin Eating

As of tomorrow morning, I'll be vacationing in Wisconsin with my best friend and her family. This trip has been a tradition in her family for years, spanning multiple generations, and since sometime in middle school I've been lucky enough to join them when my schedule fit.

Not wanting to be a rude guest (and being a guest who likes to cook), I've always contributed to making lunches and treats, and I always cook one family dinner during the week. The only one I can remember making (it's been a while since I've gone) is my mom's spaghetti, but I don't do repeats. Not with people I only see a few times a year.

My meal this week will be Italian Chicken Sticks, Paula Deen's herb-y baked take on kid-friendly chicken fingers (did I mention there will be four children aged seven and under in Wisconsin?). I made them for New Years Eve and they were a hit, so I figure repeating them with whatever veggies look delightful and some sort of potatoes will keep everyone happy on my night for dinner. That is, if they haven't all filled up on the wonderful local cheeses during afternoon snacks.

I'll be back August 10 with another post and, hopefully, photos. In the meantime, if you've got a hankering for some tasty chicken, try these out. I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Italian Chicken Sticks
from Paula Deen

1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pinch ground red pepper
8 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup melted butter
marinara sauce or honey mustard, for dipping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. Dip the chicken strips in the melted butter with one hand, then dredge them in the crumb mixture using your dry hand to cover. Place the chicken strips on a lightly greased baking sheet, taking care not to overlap them. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with the sauce of your choice.

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