Friday, June 20, 2008

Oven-Baked Wheat Germ Chicken

Hi there! I hope you enjoyed your cobbler. I’ve always found it to be a real crowd pleaser. Well, I hope you’re ready for something else to try. How about some baked chicken?

*listens to the crickets chirp*

Alright, yes. It’s a recipe for baked chicken. I know. But hear me, er, read me out before you give up and go take a nap.

On top of my many other allergies, yeast – both baker’s and brewer’s – is on my list of things to avoid. This means I need an alternative to bread crumbs. Depending on what sort of dish I’m fixing, I have a few choices. I can use crushed cereal flakes (wheat for me but if corn is okay for you, good ol’ corn flakes are handy), crushed crackers or wheat germ.

For this recipe, we’ll be using wheat germ. Obviously, if wheat doesn’t work for you, try corn flakes or even low-/no- sodium potato chips (I wouldn’t recommend regular chips as they would be much too salty). Let’s have a look at what you’ll need.

· 9” x 12” baking pan (non-stick is nice but not required)
· 1 – 1 ½ lbs. fresh, boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts cut into roughly 1 – 1 ½ ” wide strips
· ¾ - 1 cup wheat germ
· 1 tsp each – celery seed, onion powder, garlic powder (or garlic salt), crushed dried parsley or 2 tsp minced fresh parsley
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil if you are not using a non-stick pan

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

If your baking pan is not non-stick, coat it lightly with the olive oil. Use a paper towel to spread the oil evenly and absorb any extra.
Combine wheat germ and seasonings in a wide, shallow dish or a large plastic bag (preferably one with a zip seal to reduce mess).
Rinse chicken tenders and shake off extra water but do not dry.
Place damp tenders, a few at a time, in the wheat germ mixture. Turn or shake to coat completely.
Place coated chicken in one layer in your pan. It’s okay if the pieces touch.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 -45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 185 – 187 degrees. It will “carry-over” cook to 190.

You can certainly change up the seasonings you use to get different flavors and accommodate different needs. You can also choose a ready-made seasoning blend for chicken but be sure to read the ingredients label to assure you aren’t going end up eating something you’d rather not.

You’ll want to make plenty of this chicken as it makes great leftovers. Reheat for another meal, use in a sandwich or dice and serve cold on a bed of salad greens.

This is a simple recipe that even the kids can help make. Shaking a bag full of chicken is really pretty fun. I think you’ll enjoy the nutty flavor of the wheat germ, too.

Until next time, let’s go eat that!


MT said...

Sandy, where do you shop? Do you find your food budget more expensive, less expensive, or about the same as "before"? How often do you go to the store? When you started out with the food allergies, I'm sure you felt overwhelmed. Did you keep a list with you of your family's allergies? How about eating out? Are you able to do that? You have some great recipes and ideas on this blog. Please continue!

Sandra Gordon said...

Oh, good questions!

Mostly, I am able to shop at Fry's (a Kroger store) and Safeway which are the two mainstream grocery stores nearest our house. I do make occasional trips to more specialized stores such as Trader Joe's, Sprouts and Sunflower Market. The latter two are similar to Whole Foods which we don't have in my area just yet.

I find I don't really shop more often than I ever did because we always did prefer 'fresh' foods over shelf-stable things even before the food allergies became an issue. I do a 'big' trip about once a week and sometimes an extra trip for just a few things in between. Frankly, I'd rather go more often and buy less each time. We're a family of three so buying in bulk, especially perishables, just doesn't pay. Of course, when my son is a teenager, I may rethink that. He already seems bottomless!

It was overwhelming in the beginning. You're right about that. I couldn't believe the number of things I had to learn to avoid! But really, fear of another trip to the ER will do wonders for one's power of concentration. I learned to avoid things quickly. What took longer was learning to cook well despite the list of things to avoid. I did that rather badly for quite a long time. I do keep a list of my own food allergies and did a lot of reading about carbs and sugars and so on when my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. By now, I am pretty well able to shop without carrying an extra list but I do keep it around for reference when I feel like experimenting.

The grocery bill did go up a bit when we started getting serious about choosing organic foods and the really specialized alternatives I use but, thankfully, I'm finding these items are becoming more and more available and that seems to bring down the price.

Eating out is a serious challenge but if you are willing to do a little prior research, it can still be done. In fact, I have an out-town-conference coming up in early August and I've already been in communication with some very obliging people at the hotel and on the committee organizing the conference. I'm learning quite a few things about that so maybe it would be worthwhile to have an entry here just about that, huh?

Thanks for reading! I'm glad you're enjoying the recipes. I really hope they help.


Frank Benjamin said...

I love the wheat germ recipe. I have a No Bread Parmesan Crusted Chicken recipe at that uses wheat germ. I used wheat germ today for chicken fingers.