Crispy BBQ Chicken Fingers & Jade Green Vegetables

I have a funny story to announce.  My husband loves condiments.  LOVES.  I’m not being judge-y, as I love condiments too.  But when I go to a lot of trouble to make a spice rub and honey glaze, I’m just a wee bit offended when my sweet husband goes to get barbecue sauce from the fridge, to use as a dip.  He realized the error of his ways, and didn’t end up using it.  But on Thursday, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner and gave him 3 chicken options.  He opted for this Crispy BBQ Chicken Fingers recipe and confessed to me later that it was partially because it involved barbecue sauce. ;);)  I cannot fault him for that!  They were certainly tasty.

I also paired them with stir-fried green beans, which was loosely based off of a Weight Watchers recipe (1 serving = 1 point).  I will include my version of the recipe below (I didn’t have some of the ingredients WW listed, so I improvised, but am pretty sure that using their recipe would change the flavour).  You can click the link above to see the original recipe.  Also, I’m pretty excited that I used that recipe, since it called for 1/2cu of any type of broth, and I happened to have EXACTLY half a cup left over from another recent recipe.  Shazam.

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Can I tell you that washing and cutting a pound of green beans is A LOT OF WORK?!  I always do it, but for some reason, on Thursday it felt like so much more work than normal.  Sure, Trader Joe’s pre-cut & pre-washed fresh green beans are twice as much, but they’re also no work at all.  Maybe I should factor time vs. cost when making our grocery budget…

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Crispy BBQ Chicken Fingers

Ingredients:
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (or buy actual tenders)
-2cu lowfat buttermilk (I made my own buttermilk substitute…actually, my husband did, since I stayed at work late and he was already home, I emailed him detailed instructions of what I needed help with – love that guy)
-1/4cu barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s — I mean, really, what else is there?)
-2cu panko bread crumbs (homemade!!)
-1/4cu whole wheat flour (I only have white flour, so everytime a recipe calls for whole wheat, I just use white…I should really invest in whole wheat though!)
-2tbsp McCormick’s BBQ seasoning (interestingly enough, I didn’t even know if we had any, but lo and behold, we had that exact brand of it!)
-1tsp sea salt
-1tsp garlic powder

Directions:
-Combine buttermilk and BBQ sauce into a baking dish, add chicken, marinate for 2-24hrs (normally I opt for longer = better, however this was a last minute dinner idea, so they only marinated for about 45mins)
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
-Combine panko, barbecue seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and flour into a large bowl (now the reason I actually took the bread crumb picture below is because that BBQ seasoning is legit – the mixture seriously smelled like barbecue sauce! I was really excited, haha). Coat chicken pieces in the panko mix, then lay on a wire rack sitting on a baking sheet (again, I don’t have a wire rack, so I just used a baking dish). Spray each piece with cooking spray or olive oil (this helps make them crispy, which is something I learned a few recipes back).
-Bake for 10-12mins, flip, coat with cooking spray, and then bake for 10-15 more minutes.
-When finished, brush with barbecue sauce.

I officially LOVE making my own bread crumbs.  It is seriously amazing.  My version is loosely based off of the one I linked to…I use whatever extra bread I have laying around, shake in some herbes de province, pulse a few times in the food processor, then bake for a few minutes on 300 (shaking/tossing a couple of times).  Perfection.

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Jade Green Vegetables (aka Stir Fried Green Beans)

Ingredients:
-1/2cu any type of broth (I used beef, since I had an open container of it in the fridge)
-1tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
-1/2tbsp sugar
-1tsp olive oil
-1/5tsp sesame oil
-1/2tsp salt
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1lb uncooked green beans, trimmed

Directions:
-In a small bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, and sugar, then set aside.
-Coat a large wok (or skillet, but c’mon, let’s get real and use a WOK!) with olive oil, and heat over medium.
-Add sesame oil, salt, and garlic, stirring to combine. Heat about 1min.
-Add green beans and stir fry for about 5mins, or until crisp-tender.
-Add broth mixture and toss to coat. Heat through, about a minute or so, and then serve immediately.
-I had about 2 servings, so it was about 2 points. But still wonderful and healthy!

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