Today is one of those pack as much activities as possible into a single day. It’s Saturday – and as with all our Saturdays, that means a morning trip to the market to pickup all the makings for this week’s planned meals. Notice how I stress planned, because what I plan and what I make aren’t necessarily the same – life and all it brings often change my well-laid plans.
Hubby wants to go Antiquing – Kiddo and I have no objections. Last weekend, we stumbled across a wonderful indoor Antique Shop bursting with miles and miles of things to look through. Last weekend we managed to see about half of what they had to offer, so we are anxious to head back. I adore serving pieces, especially crystals and sterling silver from bygone days. Some items are pricey, but if you take your time, you can find a few surprises that don’t break the bank. Besides, I don’t “collect”, I use my finds. One of the best roasting pans I own we picked up at a street fair under the freeway. The first time I used it was to cook up my Golden Perfection Oven-Roasted Capon – and it turned out beautifully. While I like Victorian pieces best for their elegance, from a practical gonna-cook-with-it standpoint; things made in the 1930s and 1940s are awesome. My soup tureens, footed cake platters and pastry forks are all treasured finds that have a useful purpose.
And then there’s the usual weekend chores – dusting, vacuuming, laundry – all those things that are put off until the end of the work week. On days like this, I still want to whip up something yummy for dinner. Something that either won’t take long once we return from our day’s adventure or something that will slow-cook without needing much attention.
It’s been a while since I last whipped up Chicken El Paso. These are yummy strips of chicken – great for “snacking” or serving as a meal. While this might not be your company is coming for dinner Chicken recipe, it’s great for a laid back, let’s put our feet up at the end of the day meal. These would also make a great addition to a finger-food buffet tables – the recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled if need be. And hey, Super Bowl is only a week away.
Chicken El Paso
1 cup dried Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon New Mexican Chili Powder*
2 large skinless, boneless Chicken Breast halves cut into strips
¼ cup Buffalo Ranch Salad Dressing (more if necessary)*
1 Cup Spicy Salsa, if desired, for dip
1 bag Seasoned Potato Wedges or Steak Fries
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a shallow baking sheet with foil, spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside until ready to use.
Lay chicken on a cutting board, smooth side down, under side up. There will be a small “extra” flap of meat, trim this and set aside. Turn chicken over, smooth side up. Find the middle point to butterfly breast into two thinner breast pieces, thus creating four thin breasts from the two. Cut breast into strips, three or four per breast depending upon size. Set aside until ready to use.
On waxed paper, combine crumbs and chili powder.
In a bowl, pour out about 1/4 cup of dressing. Using a brush, paint a chicken strip, roll in chili-seasoned breadcrumbs and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the strips are arranged on the sheet.
Bake chicken strips for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once halfway through baking time.
Serve with salsa as a dip (if desired) and Potato Wedges or Steak Fries.
* For a less spicy, kid-friendly version, use a less-spicy chili powder or omit completely. Substitute regular Ranch Dressing for the Buffalo Ranch. I’ve made this with regular chili powder and Ranch Dressing, it is still delicious although be it milder.
And now extra little share just for the heck of it . . .
Hubby loves birds. He has a collection of bird feeders just outside our bedroom window. Early one morning not very long ago all the visiting little winter birds were gone – poof – the yard was hauntingly silent. From past experience, we knew we had another visitor. When he makes his appearance known, all the other backyard visitors – from the turtle doves to the bushy-tailed squirrels – all scatter. Gee, I wonder why . . .