Cooking Italian-Style Chicken Strips

This is Jazz, my youngest son, and he’s eating a dish that he cooked for us the other night.

I know, judging by his expression, that he appears not to like what he cooked, but actually, he was trying (keyword: trying) to appear cool in his approval.

I’m thinking he failed.

Anyway, he made this recipe in cooking class and he was dying to try it out on us.

Actually, Dude took the same cooking class and …

What’s that? How in the world did I coax my very manly teenage boys to take a cooking class?

You mean aside from my threats of getting out of the car when I drop them off in the morning, wave and yell so loudly that our neighbors in the next county can hear me, “Have a good day, boys! Mommy loves you!”?

Er … nothing. They WANTED to take the class. I didn’t have to do anything.

Granted, it sounded more fun than a lot of the other class choices, but still, cooking class – for my teenage boys. I was quite thrilled, if you want the truth. I mean come on, EVERYONE needs to know how to cook for themselves, right? I mean, I’m quite sure I’ll be over at their apartments every day making sure they drink more water than soda, brush their teeth and to pick up their dirty (stinky) socks, I can’t possibly make their meals too, now can I? I mean, I need to draw the line somewhere, don’t I?

(Okay fine, I’ll be cooking their meals, too. Whatever).

Anyway, where was I … oh yeah. Voluntarily taking a cooking class. Actually, the boys don’t mind taking classes they feel will benefit them in “real” life (because going to school to learn proper English and how to calculate distance is not real life, don’t you know). And this cooking class was definitely in that “real-life” category.

I’m proud to say that both boys quite enjoyed their cooking class (and when I asked them if there were a lot of boys in their cooking classes, thinking that maybe the REAL reason they wanted to take the cooking class was because it would be chock full of cute girls and they wanted to take advantage of the 50:1 girl-to-boy ratio, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there were quite a few boys taking the class. Of course, they could have been lying to me but let’s humor my disillusions, shall we?).

In fact, Jazz enjoyed his class SO much that he wanted to try one of his favorite recipes from the class out on us.

So, last Thursday night was Jazz’s night to cook for us. I asked him what he needed, I put those items on our grocery list, I bought those items for him, and he cooked for us.

We had to monkey rig the breading a bit – there simply wasn’t enough to coat the number of strips we made, but it turned out really good and we’ll definitely be adding it to our recipe rotation list. (Kevin made a database of recipes and printed it out so when it comes time to plan the next week’s menu, all I have to do is take out that list and POW, instant no brainer. I like no brainers).

Here is the recipe for Italian-Style Chicken Strips if you want to try it out for yourself:

Italian-Style Chicken Strips

Prep: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Serves 4

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs (by the way, don’t waste your money buying bread crumbs, just toast some bread, then take a fork and scrape off the crumbs).
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 cup corn meal (we had to add this just to make more breading. It worked nicely).
1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 cup Olive oil
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
Spaghetti noodles (enough to feed four [or more] people).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and pepper in a bowl. Give it a good stir.

Cut chicken into 1/2 inch strips. Place in breading mixture, coat chicken completely.

Place chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle Olive oil over chicken strips.

Bake 9 minutes. Turn pieces over and bake another 9 to 11 minutes until cooked completely through.

Serve with spaghetti noodles, pour spaghetti sauce over chicken strips and noodles.

Praise your child immensely and try and talk your child into cooking for you more often. Momma needs more blogging material.