Chopped Dinner, Take 1

For why we’re doing this, read here

I finally felt like everyone was healthy enough around here to make a real dinner (kids have been sick with fever for days), and wouldn’t you know it, Bennett’s fever returned, and a return trip to the doc revealed bronchitis. Oh well…could be much worse. In 24 hours he should be good as new!

Anyway, dinner was a success…I didn’t get chopped!

First up was Jack Henry, because he turned in his list of basket ingredients first. Here is his list (I dare you not to smile at its adorableness):

Ok. (He got 2 of those ingredients from watching an episode of Chopped: the fries and the carrots. We regularly eat carrots; we almost never eat oven french fries.)

I will admit to being less creative than I originally planned to be, given that this week has practically sucked every bit of my ability to think sanely out of my system. Plus, I really, really wanted my kids to eat their dinner, as no one’s had much of an appetite this week (Bennett’s lost a pound this week!), so I didn’t want to mess with things too much. I promise to try and bump up the creativity next time. 🙂

The only truly incorporated ingredient was the goldfish. I put about a cup of them in my food processor along with about 1/2 cup of unseasoned panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, and a little black pepper and garlic salt. Pulsed it all until it was a fine powder and put it on a plate.

I pounded chicken breasts flat (seriously, good therapy to beat up chicken with a hammer) and then dipped them in milk and then in the crumb mixture, and put them on a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet, and baked them at 425 for about 20 minutes. I normally wouldn’t cook chicken on that high a temp, but the fries were in the oven at the same time, and that’s what they needed. And really, the chicken came out perfect!

I went with a “Sticks” theme…I cut the carrots into tiny little strips, I cut the chicken into strips, and the fries were already, obviously.

I made a sauce that I will definitely make again, based on one I saw online today…I’m calling it Sweet and Spicy Mayo, and it’s getting its own post here. It was too spicy for Bennett and Jack Henry; Luke, who likes spicy things, deemed it the best part of dinner.

So, here’s what the plated meal looked like!

luke's plate, with 3 different dips

he saved the chicken for last because he didn't think he'd like it...but he was wrong! he ate several strips of it.

Next up: Bennett’s choices. And they’re even stranger than Jack Henry’s, I must say.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nana Jo
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 20:29:52

    Seriously, you had me at the adorableness of how he wrote his name–the increasing size, as well as the “N”!–the ingredients were just added cuteness! I’d say you laid out a pretty nice presentation! 🙂 The chicken sounds good, and I’d be the lone ranger who’d eat mine plain. If this was dinner tonight, additional props to you for being creative when it was supposed to be Matt’s & your date night! 😦


    • Nicole
      Feb 17, 2012 @ 22:22:51

      It was last night. But tonight, Matt and I had carryout from Cheesecake Factory (minus cheesecake, which still seems very, very wrong) so that took the sting away from the missed date night a little 🙂


  2. Jake
    Feb 17, 2012 @ 22:35:53

    I love the goldfish idea…..I bet it did something different for the chicken!
    Good work Jack!


  3. Jan
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 07:38:35

    Your family is a hoot and I love the fun memories you all are creating. 🙂


  4. Pam Krosley
    Feb 18, 2012 @ 09:34:38

    Love this! We will have to try it at the Krosley house. We like that show 😉


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