So Operation Dinner Table is going down so much better than I could have ever hoped for! I have had NO pushback from the Misses when I really expected a struggle and some whines. I have to say that I have really enjoyed just sitting down with them, not hurrying to make dinner for D and I, or read mail, or do whatever else grabs my attention.
We’ve played games (Trouble, anyone?) and cards (war is a favorite), Mad Libs that crack us all up, and look over all the homework from the day. It is so pleasant and it really doesn’t matter if we pick up Pollo Tropical (I have yet to find a really good black bean recipe that doesn’t involve meat – if you have one, send it my way…) or if I make an elaborate, from-scratch dish. It’s about the time we spend together.
But that doesn’t mean that I am not taking this opportunity to try more and more new flavors out on the girls. Last week I made this poorly named* Classy Chicken recipe from Food and Whine. [*Going sidebar here - the word "classy" is one of, if not my biggest pet peeve in the world. And I have many. Ask D! Anything that incorporates the word classy is most usually the farthest thing from it. Case in point, this casserole with cream of chicken soup. Easy? Yummy? Comfort food? All yes. Classy? Really not so much. But I don't blame Food and Whine - I don't know what to name it either! I really like that blog and have posted a few things that I've found there.] The recipe incorporates curry powder and it made me pause thinking the girls would protest. They really liked it though and I was happy that I got to push their palates a little bit.
The girls really loved the chicken. The sauce, not really. But again, I thought the Dijon mustard would be an issue and it wasn’t. Little victories.
Yield: 6 servings (I halved the recipe with no problem.)
1/2 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed (about 4 cups) [I used Snyder's Sourdough Hard Pretzels]
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground. You should have both coarse chunks and finer crumbs.
3. Transfer pretzels to a large, shallow bowl.
4. Wipe out the food processor and add the oil, the two mustards, water and vinegar.
5. Process until smooth; season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour half of the mustard mixture into a large shallow bowl. Reserve the remainder of the mustard for dressing/sauce.
6. Add the chicken breasts to mustard mixture and turn to coat. Then, dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
7. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
8. Slice the chicken; Serve warm, or at room temperature, with the remaining mustard dressing.