Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2 Chicken Dishes for the Whole Family

Home-Cooked "Sticky-Chickies"

For working parents, picking up dinner at the grocery store can be the difference between sanity and parent melt-down. Our local grocery store makes fabulous Chicken wings that my son nicknamed, "Sticky Chickies". He gobbled them up and I ended up with no dishes to clean. However, it also cost over $20.00! So, to save money and have more say in the ingredients I feed my kids, I am finding myself cooking more and more.

The reality is that there are many cookbooks that offer recipes for feeding toddlers. Many of them suggest cutting sandwiches into hearts or putting chunks of cheese on kebob sticks. My goal continues to be offering a range of delicious food that we all enjoy and that doesn't "dumb" it down.

The following 2 recipes are current hits at our house. I just discovered very inexpensive organic, free range chicken at Market Basket in Ashland and in both cases, I have prepared the sauce in advance so the dinner clean up is still pretty minimal. (Though we are still happy to take donations for a live-in cleaner!) The first recipe is by recent mom and great chef, Rachel Klein. The second is a result of trying to recreate the wings in a slow cooker. However, I realized that for the sticky, gooey coating we loved, it was just as easy to roast them in the oven. Both recipes create sauces that are fantastic over rice (sticky rice is great for toddlers) and broccoli.

Orange-Glazed Chicken Tenders, adapted from Rachel Klein, reprinted in the Boston Globe

1 quart orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken cut into thin strips
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs oil (vegetable or canola)

1. In a medium saucepan, mix the juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until reduced and syrupy.

2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. When hot, add the chicken and cook without moving for 20 seconds. Turn and cook on the other side for 30 seconds or until brown.

4. Add the sauce and simmer until cooked through.

My husband and I added some tellicherry pepper from Penzey's. It was a fantastic addition (for us, not the boys!)

Sticky Chickies (Honey-Orange Chicken Wings)

Adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker

4 pounds chicken wings and/or drumsticks

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the chicken wings in a large roasting pan (ideally non-stick. If not, put in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil.) Heat the sauce ingredients in a pan on medium heat for a few minutes until they melt together. Pour the sauce over the wings. Cook for 45 minutes. Flip them over and cook another hour. Enjoy the mess.

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