Served with a Cucumber Pico de Gallo & Watermelon Salad
I was asked earlier in the week by fellow blogger and Oakland A’s WAG Kaycee Sogard if I had any toddler friendly recipe ideas she can try out for her little one Saydee. If you recall one of my first blog posts earlier this year featured Kaycee and her lifestyle blog Blueberry Change. For those of you that know Kaycee, you know how she balancing being a baseball wife, mom to Saydee, and now is expecting another little one later this year, all while managing to stay stylish! Go check out her blog at Blueberry Change and see how she handles this not so glamorous baseball life and how she manages to stay glamorous!
When she had asked me about a kid friendly recipe I immediately thought about my baked chicken tenders that I have made before but I wanted to revisit it. This inspired me to come up with one meal that can work with toddlers and adults without having to make two meals! Since it is summer time, I wanted it to be light and feel fresh and healthy!
Today we are going to be making chicken nuggets for the little ones and chicken tacos with a refreshing cucumber pico de gallo for the adults in the family. This eliminates having to make two meals to appeal to everyone. Let’s use what we have and keep running with it! We are going to serve this along side a watermelon salad to keep it light and fresh for these hot summer months!
Here’s what you’ll need…
1-2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cup corn flakes
1 cup regular bread crumbs, today I used whole wheat but you can use plain (I think I prefer plain)
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
soft corn or flour tortillas
Cucumber Pico de Gallo:
3 roma tomatoes, cored and diced small
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, optional (remove seeds if you want a mild pico)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and small diced
salt and pepper
Chipotle cream sauce (optional):
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you’ll only need one pepper out of this can so buy the smallest can possible)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon cilantro minced
crumbled feta cheese, optional
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Get your dredging station ready. Start with flour seasoned with salt and pepper in one bowl, next egg wash, and then the cornflake and breadcrumb mixture. The cornflake mixture is a perfect opportunity to get the kiddies involved and let them smash and crush the flakes into crumbs. Put those kids to work! Combine corn flake crumbs, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper then drizzle with vegetable oil and mix together. Use your hands and get messy with it, the kids will love it!
Now slice the chicken breast into 1/2 inch wide strips. If your chicken breast is really thick, cut the breast in half first then continue to cut it into strips. Take 2-3 strips and cut those into nugget sizes for the little ones. The long strips are for the adults and the chicken tacos. Season all sides with salt and pepper.
Start with dredging the chicken first in the flour and shaking off excess. Now into the egg wash and next into the crumb mixture. You are going to want to press the mixture into the chicken. It’s okay to get your hands dirty for this one, that’s why they invented soap! A tip is to use one hand for dry ingredients and the other hand for wet ingredients. Since I am right handed, I use my right hand to handle the flour and crumb mixture and my left hand to hand the egg mixture.
Place all nuggets and tenders onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake in oven, turning a few times during the baking process. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
While the tenders are baking, let’s get the cucumber pico de gallo ready. Mix together tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, minced garlic, diced onion, jalapeño (optional), diced cucumber and season with salt and pepper. Set in refrigerator to marry all the flavors together and let it chill while the chicken is baking.
Now onto the watermelon salad. Chop watermelon into large cubes (discard the rind) and place in a large bowl. Squeeze lime juice over the watermelon and cilantro. Slice the red onion into thin slices and toss those with the watermelon. You can add feta cheese if you’d like, this is optional but delicious. Serve chilled.
Once chicken nuggets and tenders are golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees F, remove from oven. Be sure to lightly season the chicken when you immediately take them out of the oven with salt and pepper. Serve the nuggets along side the watermelon salad for the little ones.
Adults, it’s time to assemble your tacos. Be sure to warm the tortillas in the microwave for 15-30 seconds before assembling. I like to start with the chicken tenders, drizzle with chipotle cream sauce for a little kick and then top with pico and all the other fixings!
For the chipotle cream sauce mixed plain greek yogurt with one chopped chipotle pepper and a spoonful of the adobo sauce from the can.
Here’s a meal the whole family can love and why not make it for taco tuesday!!!