Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dinner made easy

I enjoy cooking on the weekend and look forward to planning Saturday night's meal each week.

The menu usually depends on which family members will be eating at home that night.

Sometimes I do more complicated meals because I have more time to cook on Saturday and love to make yeast rolls or dessert to go with what I'm serving.

This past Saturday's menu was an easy one. It all started because I wanted a spinach salad. I ran across a new recipe for a fabulous and simple dressing a few weeks back, and Reggie and I loved it. I was eager to try it again. I had a quart of strawberries in the refrigerator, so it seemed like the perfect time for a spinach salad. So, what should I serve with it?

I knew chicken breasts were on sale at our favorite grocery store and decided on a simple chicken recipe my sister, Susan, gave me many years ago. I bought whole chicken breasts, which are much cheaper than tenders, and cut them into strips (or tenders) with my kitchen shears.

The recipe calls for the chicken tenders to be brushed with honey mustard and dipped in Italian bread crumbs. A sauce of apple juice and butter is drizzled on top. That's it. The chicken cooks under aluminum foil for part of the baking time, so it comes out tender and juicy.

I served it Saturday with angel hair pasta topped with a little butter and Parmesan cheese. This meal comes together in a short period of time. I made the salad and cooked the pasta while the chicken was cooking. The food was on the table in less than an hour from the time I started prep work.

The meal was delicious, and we had lots of leftovers.

I had only made enough salad for the two of us, so there was plenty of spinach and salad dressing for another meal. The chicken is very good in a sandwich or could be sliced and served in a leftover spinach salad.

Susan's Chicken Tenders
  • 3 chicken breasts cut into strips or tenders
  • Honey mustard
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 9X13-inch dish with baking spray.

Brush chicken with honey mustard and dredge in bread crumbs. Place in prepared baking dish.

Mix butter and apple juice and drizzle over chicken.

Cover with foil and cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Serves four.

Susan Hoffman

Spinach Salad Dressing
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, but balsamic or white vinegar would be a good substitute)
Mix ingredients in a covered bowl or covered cruet and pour over salad. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before eating.

*In our spinach salad, we use baby spinach sliced strawberries and toasted sliced almonds.

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