Sunday, January 9, 2011

Parmesan Chicken Tenders with Brussels Sprouts

Parmesan Chicken Tenders

If you told me a few years ago that I would not only like brussels sprouts — but also crave them — I would have told you that you were nuts.

When I was kid brussels sprouts were right up there with liver and onions. Both were competing for the title of "world's ickiest food" although I had never tried either of them (and I didn't want to!).

In college a friend of mine would get brussels sprouts when they had them in the cafeteria. They honestly looked disgusting. Little slimy cabbages that smelled funny. No thanks.

Then, I kept reading about how great they were roasted, so I decided to try them. After all, I don't care for broccoli, but I'll happily eat it roasted.

The first time I had them, I didn't like them. I barely got through a few of them before they went into the trash.

But, I've always believed you have try something several times before you can say you don't like them, so I kept trying. Then, one day I decided I liked them. Then, last week, I craved them.

The chicken was pretty good, too. A slight twist on a baked chicken tender that would be excellent on a green salad the next day. Both came from the January/February issue of Everyday Food.

Parmesan Chicken Tenders with Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4.

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pound chicken tenders
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 pound brussels sprouts, halved

Preheat the oven to 450° with racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven.

Combine the bread crumbs and the cheese in a shallow dish. Toss the chicken with 1 tsp of oil, salt, pepper and the thyme. Dredge the chicken in the bread crumb mixture until coated then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet covered in foil. Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil.

Toss the mushrooms and brussels sprouts with 2 tsp of oil, salt and pepper. Put them in a single layer on another baking sheet covered with foil.

Put the chicken on the top rack of the oven and the brussels on the lower rack. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes and the brussels are tender, about 20 minutes.

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