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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Healthy Fried Chicken

  One of the things I try to put at the top of my, all things important to mommy hood list, is keeping my family healthy. Don't get me wrong, I do it in a very balanced way. I have always felt being too organized, or being to layed back are not good habits to pick up. To keep your sanity, and lower the pressure on the rest of the world around you, there has to be balance.
  Now, I also love, love, love food. Growing up, my Mom always made things from scratch. We didn't have a ton of money, therefore canned ravioli or even already packaged Jello, were things we just did not grow up with. They were treats. My Mom got the Tupperware out and poured Jello in it. She made stroganof instead of buying Hamburger Helper. We never ever got fruit snacks, or fruit bars. We got fruit. I was even allergic to chocolate for most of my childhood! Thankful for all of this, now that I am an adult.
  Having a firefighter as a husband and two little boys who want to grow up  to be one, keeping healthy is especially important. Even more so when you find out that the leading cause of death for firefighters is cardiac arrest. Heart health is so very critical. Yet, as I am sure we all do, my guys tend to love junk food. Chicken nuggets, pizza, spaghetti, then when that gets old, chicken Parmesan.
  Here is a super easy way to make a healthier version of the Fried Chicken so many of us crave as a comfort food. You can easily cut the chicken different sizes to make it into nuggets or chicken for topping spaghetti. Instead of using butter, and chicken with skin, or eggs, we just use healthy alternatives.
   Start with half frozen or thawed chicken. I always buy the 40lb bags of frozen, skinless, chicken breast or tenderloins, making it cheaper and easy to stock up on. Popping them in the microwave for a minute usually does the trick. I like them a little frozen, because they are so much easier to handle. Personally, veins and fat, and all the gross things about chicken, make me gag, not even wanting to bother with it. When they are a little frozen I can take my kitchen scissors, or knife, and cut any fat or rubber thing left on it. Plus, your cuts look so professional and delicious because it isn't slippery when cutting it. Also, it is a little safer for graceful super safe people like me. Next, in a saute pan, start to heat up some extra virgin olive oil. Then I take some cereal, what ever I have in the house, rice crispies, corn flakes, special K, rice chex, anytime of grain plain jane cereal. Next crush it up and put it in a seperate bowl. Depending on the dish you are serving you can add spices like garlic, or dried onions to match your other dishes.  If you have buttermilk handy great, otherwise take about a cup of milk and put in a bowl big enough for dipping the chicken into. Now the fun and messy part! Dip your skinless chicken into the milk, then into the cereal crumbs, next pop that baby in the hot oil. Let the chicken cook for a few minutes on each side until browned and delicious. you could even skip the saute pan for an extra extra healthy version and bake them in the oven at 350 for 15- 20 minutes. When you poke chicken with a fork and it runs clear, or doesn't feel smushy when you poke it, it is done. Don't you just love my technical terms? Yes, I don't measure most things, and yes my kitchen is usually messy, but man can I cook!

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