Thursday, March 21, 2013

A not so Irish St. Patrick's Day Dinner

I know I am an Irish American but I just couldn’t eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day.  I made some for my husband and my youngest son had a few bites, but I had to come up with something else for myself and my oldest son.  Hmmm…what to make, what to make.  I flipped open a cookbook that I have from Beachbody and I found Kathy Smith’s Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken.  It looked really good and thought I’d give it a try.  But of course, I never follow a recipe exactly so this is a variation. 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup plain breadcrumbs
1 Tbs Frank’s Hot Sauce
1Tbs Worcestershire sauce
A few turns of fresh ground pepper
Pinch of salt

Just after breakfast, I whisked together the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper in a glass container.  Don’t worry if you don’t like hot and spicy foods.  The hot sauce just gives it a tang.  I put the chicken in the marinade, covered it and put in the fridge. 

We had been planning on going Maple Sugaring on Sunday but it was really cold.  March 16th -17th and 23rd and 24th are Maple Weekends in New York State so we’ll go next weekend for a tour and a little taste of New York maple syrup!   I didn’t have anything else planned so the rest of that day we listened to Irish Music and did some baking – soda bread and Shakeology cookies. 

As it got closer to dinner time and the Corned Beef in the crock pot was almost done, I pulled the chicken out of the fridge to come closer to room temperature.   I coated the chicken with the breadcrumbs.  No need to dunk the chicken into anything since the marinade helps the breadcrumbs stick.  You can use whatever bread crumbs you normally use but I urge you to read the labels.  There are probably ingredients in there that you can’t pronounce. 

When I realized this I started to make my own breadcrumbs.  Now, I have 2 young boys who are in the “cut the crust off phase.”  So I simply cut the crusts off before making the sandwich.  I throw them in a freezer bag and toss them in the freezer.  I am not a big fan of the ends of a loaf of bread so I tend to throw them in the bag too.  When I have enough I toast them in the over with some Italian seasoning and just a bit of olive oil.  Then I grind them in a food processor.  Voila!  You have yummy, whole wheat breadcrumbs without all the junk.  Simple and saves money too. 

I put the chicken into a preheated oven and baked at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  This is how I always cook chicken breasts and it is always very juicy.  This chicken was great!!  A crunch coating always is more exciting than plain chicken.  And there was a mouth watering tang! 

I had planned on saving some to put on my salad the next day but my son loved it so much he finished every last piece!  This was a super easy recipe and so tasty.  The cookbook lists this as 300 calories for a 5 oz serving (I usually stick to 3oz).  12 grams of total fat (2g saturated), 20g carbs, 1g fiber and 26g of protein.   
I served it with sautéed cabbage, a baked sweet potato and a small slice of Irish Soda Bread.  Yummy!



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