I never realized how difficult it must have been for my parents to plan weeknight dinners for three kids, especially when one of them was a picky P.I.T.A. (yup — me). They’d come home from work and have to present a meal of at least two components (main, side) in a relatively quick manner or their rambunctious rugrats would start whining.
Fortunately, I’ve already found a dish that’s going to be my go-to weeknight meal when I have kids: pretzel baked chicken (adapted from Mommie Cooks). It’s delicious, fast and the majority of the [inexpensive] ingredients are found in your pantry.
♦1 lb. package Perdue thin-cut boneless breasts (or tenderloins)
♦1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
♦1/2 c. Herr’s sourdough pretzels, crushed
♦1/2 tsp. black pepper
♦1/4 tsp. garlic salt
♦1/2 tsp. garlic powder
♦1/2 c. flour
♦1/4 c. milk
♦1-1/2 tsp. spicy mustard
♦1/4 c. shredded cheddar
In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, pretzels, pepper, garlic salt and powder. Place flour in a separate, smaller dish. In a third bowl, combine milk, mustard and cheese. Coat each chicken breast in flour, then milk/mustard/cheese mixture, then dry mix. (Try to get some of these cheese to stick to the chicken before the last dip. I also throw a little bit of cheese on top.) Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
Total time? 15 minutes prep, 20-22 minutes bake.
Cost? $4 chicken, $2 pretzels (you’ll have plenty left over for snacking), $2 shredded cheese, $1.50 panko
Overall success relative to expectations? 10 out 10. I had no idea this would be as good as it is when I first attempted it. I make this at least once a month for dinner, and my friends and family know I don’t like making the same thing twice, so that’s saying something. The chicken stays very juicy, and the garlicky pretzel coating sticks remarkably well to the chicken (which is a complaint I have with a lot of breaded chicken dishes). My recipe would feed a family of three or four, but feel free to adapt to your crowd. The chicken pairs easily with rice, stuffing or veggies. Even the pickiest kid (or adult) will be begging for this meal again in no time.