Without even realizing it, I get in dinner ruts. I always feel, after finding a slew of new recipes, or reading books like Dinner A Love Story, that my days of dinner ruts will be behind me (at least for awhile). But it’s amazing how quickly I can sink back down into them. And I have so many recipes y’all. I go through my cookbooks methodically and write recipes down and still, when I’m trying to figure out what we are going to eat, there are days when nothing appeals to me.
This is my latest offering to dinner rotations: some chicken fingers that have marinated in yogurt, been dipped in breadcrumbs, and baked. We’ve had them at my parents’ house several times, a new chicken dish they discovered because of the diet changes they had to make after my mom had her gallbladder taken out. The yogurt tenderizes the chicken (much like buttermilk does in my favorite grilled chicken, which it is almost the time of year to make!), and adds a nice tangy flavor to it. These are great dipped in a little something (my favorite is honey) or just as they are, especially if you have people in your house clamoring for chicken fingers. I was once that child, and now, apparently, I am that adult.
And because I know that you all get in dinner ruts, I want to offer you some of my favorite, relatively easy, weeknight meals. Pretty soon, I’m hoping to have the recipe page navigate a little differently, with categories for things like this. But for now, I’ll give you a little selection, and maybe it will make your dinner tonight or tomorrow a little easier.
Yogurt Marinated Chicken Fingers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Wait Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 oz. fat free plain yogurt
2 cups panko bread crumbs
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley*
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme*
1. Trim the chicken breasts of any excess fat. Then cut the chicken breasts into uniform size strips. (You can also buy pre-cut chicken strips.) Place the chicken in a medium-sized bowl and add the yogurt, turning the chicken to make sure that each piece is coated in the yogurt. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour (a bit longer is also fine).
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the panko, lemon zest, parsley, thyme, (you can add other herbs you might like as well), a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Stir together.
4. Dip each chicken strip into the panko, turning to make sure each one gets fully coated. Place the chicken in a baking dish.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is beginning to turn golden brown and is cooked though. Serve warm, with dipping sauces or honey if you’d like.
*Use whatever quantity sounds best to you, or other herbs you like. I’ve also had this with dried herb mixture seasonings, and it works great that way as well.