Getting dinner on the table can be daunting. There are a million questions surrounding the the food we eat – should you choose organic, is the product you bought really whole grain, is it local, is it sustainable or does it have refined sugars. Ultimately, it makes me feel overwhelmed and exhausted, and the next thing you know, I’m reaching for a brownie made from a box mix.
I think we can all agree that it shouldn’t be this difficult, right?
And, it doesn’t have to be. Breaded and baked chicken seasoned with oregano and Parmigiano-Reggiano is juicy and flavorful. Served with green beans and a side of frozen corn or fresh fruit, this is a fast meal you can feel good about. Balanced and ready in around 30 minutes, you and your family will be happy and well-fed.
Italian Breaded Chicken Thighs
Serves 2 adults and a toddler
I’ve made a version of this for a while, tweaking it a little each time. This is my favorite way to do it. It’s really easy, but full of great flavor. I’ve put measurements in here, but after a while, you can just dump and guess like I do, which makes the whole thing come together really quickly.
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 c. whole wheat panko (If you can’t find it, use regular panko.)
1/4 c. grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
1-2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, stir together the panko, cheese and Italian herb seasoning.
Trim the chicken of any excess fat and season each side with salt and pepper. Brush on some Dijon mustard creating a light layer. I’ve also just squirted some on each piece and spread it on with my fingers. Both methods work well.
Use tongs to coat each piece of chicken with the breading. After dunking each side, you may have to press on more crumbs to fill in the blanks.
Put a wire cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray it with cooking oil. Then, place the chicken on it. Spray the top of each piece with a little cooking oil. This will help it brown up.
Put the chicken in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. The breading should be browned, and the chicken cooked through.
Green Beans with Sea Salt and Butter
Serves 2 adults and a toddler
When I was a little girl, I ate dinner one night at my Great Aunt Marge’s house. After some heavy Barbie playing with my second cousins, it was time to eat. Marge made us green beans from her garden. It was the first time I’d had them fresh, and I’ll never forget how good they tasted. Now, I like to make them the way she did with butter (probably a little less), salt and pepper. So simple, but really good. Make this while they’re still in season.
1 1/2 to 2 c. green beans
1 to 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
Coarse sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to boil. While the water is heating up, pull the stems off the green beans. Then, snap each one in half. It doesn’t have to be exact.
When the water comes to a boil, salt it. Then, add your green beans. Cook for about five minutes until fork tender. Prepare a bowl of ice water.When the green beans are ready, scoop them out of the water using a slotted spoon and add them to the ice water. Quickly, pull them out of the bowl and add them to the hot pan.
Add a pat of butter to start and a sprinkling of sea salt. Then, season with freshly cracked black pepper. Taste and adjust, adding more butter and salt if needed.