|Farm Stand Chicken|
I have been testing a new dinner philosophy in our house for the past few months. With 5 family members, each person brings their own likes and dislikes to the table. In my menu planning, I try to make meals that appeal to those with more sophisticated tastes as well as those that have less adventurous palates. My solution - each meal has something for everyone. Not every family member will eat all parts of the meal, but no one will go away hungry. My meals are generally easy to prepare, but are not usually the typical meatloaf or baked chicken. I try to spice it up a bit. An added bonus is that the Mom/Chef has to do a minimal amount of work to get dinner on the table. Tonight's dinner is a prime example - Farm Stand Chicken with Parmesan and Olive Oil Pasta
Farm Stand Chicken consists of sauteed chicken breasts topped with a melange of sweet corn, chopped tomatoes, scallions, and a sprinkling of grated sharp cheddar cheese. The cheese and vegetable topped chicken is popped in the oven to make it all melty and good. For those family members adverse to most vegetables (No Thank You Boy), the plain chicken with some A-1 sauce was a welcome sight. For the more adventurous remaining family members(this evening it included the myself, My Middle One and My Oldest), we enjoyed the chicken with all the accouterments. A relatively mild side dish of Parmesan and Olive Oil Pasta was tonight's accompaniment to the chicken. The pasta consisted of thin spaghetti cooked and drained and tossed with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a big handful of freshly grated Parmesan and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. For the spicy eaters, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes were added. The pasta-eating family members gobbled it up.
Depending on the alignment of the moon, the shifting tides, and the general level of hormones, the taste preferences of my family members can change on a daily basis. Today was a relatively calm day at the dinner table. Maybe everyone was just really hungry.
Thumbs up for tonight's meal. Everyone got to eat something they liked. The Mom/Chef liked that everyone ate some part of dinner. The Mom/Chef liked that it only took about 30 minutes to prepare. Give my method a try. It's just dinner.
Farm Stand Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup corn, fresh, canned, or frozen/thawed
1 cup tomato, diced
2 scallions, sliced thin
drizzle of olive oil
about 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, or substitute your favorite cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set aside. Combine flour and bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in another shallow dish. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and then in egg and saute for about 3 - 4 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel lined plate. If chicken is not cooked through at this point finish cooking in a preheated oven for about 5 - 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine corn, tomato, scallions, a drizzle of olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Top each one with about 1/4 of the corn mixture and 1/4 of the grated cheese. Bake in oven for about 5 - 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Note: This meal can be made ahead of time. Saute the chicken, let cool and package for the frig. Mix up the corn mixture and keep in the frig. At dinner time, preheat the oven, assemble the chicken breasts and bake. Viola! It's just dinner.