Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken Tenders and French Fries

Tonight's dinner is a kid staple. Of course, it was the hubby who requested it but in this house the favorite food list is similar for the 4 of them.

I started with the french fries. Once upon a time I had cut up a butt load of potatoes (we are talking 10 lbs here), and partially cooked them, then froze them on a cookie sheet after cookie sheet with none touching to flash freeze and stored them in the freezer thinking it would be nice to have frozen homemade fries stocked in my freezer. It took me HOURS but I told myself it would be worth it. It was nice to have them in there until I discovered it was so much faster and easier to just make them fresh when we wanted them. It takes me less time to get the fries from potato to oven the the oven takes to heat up! Here's what I do.

Take some baking potatoes and scrub them clean. Then cut them into slices however thick you want the fries. Some days I do thin, some days thick. It all depends on my mood and how long I feel like cooking them for. No I do not peel them, this takes extra time and no one notices, and quite frankly I am to lazy to peel them.
Once they are all cut up and on the cookie sheet I add a few Tbs of olive oil and then open my spice cabinet and grab some spices. Tonight I did seasoned salt and garlic pepper. What I grab from the cabinet usually chances, sometimes I add some cayenne pepper, or paprika, or grilling spice, depends all on what I am making with it and what kind of mood I am in, you can really use anything. Then I toss it all together with my hand, no use dirtying up other dishes by mixing everything in a bowl.
Then I popped them in the oven. Tonight I had the oven set on 425 since I was making the chicken tenders too. I don't usually cook chicken that high but it was getting late and I didn't want to wait on the fries forever. Usually I cook them on about 450 or 475 if I am baking the fries alone. At that temp they cook in about 15-20 mins. Just keep and eye on them and stir them at about the halfway point to help them from sticking to much. Since I was cooking them lower I gave them about 25 mins tonight.

After I popped the fries in I got to work on the chicken. Once again I was lazy and bought chicken tenders already but up at the grocery store so I didn't have to cut the breasts up. In one bowl I put 2 eggs and beat them. In the other bowl was panko bread crumbs, some seasoning (tonight was dried garlic, dried onions, salt, pepper, and then hubby wanted to add some macadamia nuts so I chopped them up in my food processor and mixed them in). Once again you can pretty much use whatever seasoning you want. I dipped the chicken into the eggs, then the bread crumb mixture and put them on a cookie sheet.

I popped them into the oven with the fries and cooked them for about 15 mins. They take about 20 mins or so when I cook them at 350. When the chicken was done I not happy with how brown the fries were yet so I cranked up the oven and cooked them a few more minutes. They did not get as crispy as usual but the troops were getting restless.

So there you go. Nothing fancy but done in less then 30 mins and from scratch.

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