Baked ITALIAN CHICKEN BITES

Table of Contents: CHICKEN

 


Versatile recipe - an appetizer, an entrée & something healthy that the “kidz” will actually eat! Normally I would serve this as an appetizer, but I was wracking my brain for something healthy to serve to three of our grandchildren yesterday that they would even consider

eating.  I decided to one-up the fast food restaurants & make chicken nuggets with –get this – “real” chicken breast meat!  And, I baked it instead of frying it.  You have never heard such raves from “kidz”.  It was declared THE BEST!  Now when serving as an appetizer, you

can add a sauce, if desired, but it is great just as it is.

See “Cooking Tips” on Home Page – Chicken Breast, cutting


2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 small bottle Italian or Greek salad dressing (oil & vinegar base)

1 ½ cups Italian breadcrumbs

½ cup finely grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese

 

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces, and place in a glass bowl.  Pour enough of the salad dressing on the chicken pieces to coat them.  Allow chicken to marinate in the salad dressing for 15 minutes.  In a large heavy zip-lock bag,

combine the Italian breadcrumbs & grated cheese; seal bag & shake to mix. After the marinade time, use a slotted spoon to drain one spoon full at a time of the chicken; then place the chicken in the plastic bag, seal, & shake to coat.  Repeat until all chicken bites are coated

on all sides.  Place chicken bites in a single layer on an ungreased non-stick baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes; then use a non-stick spatula to turn bites to the other side (as best you can).  Cook another 2 minutes or until browned on 2 sides &

chicken is done.  Serve with cocktail picks as an appetizer & for the “kidz”.  They love the novelty of using the picks.

Although this is not an authentic Italian dish, I thought I’d continue the story of  “Babes in Veniceland”, that would be Joe & me!  We had arrived in Venice; I had purchased a suitcase at the airport with wheels – no more backpack suitcase for me; we had negotiated the ride

in from the airport at Mestre, Italy; & successfully gotten luggage on & off our vaporetto at the correct Grand Canal landing.  We were feeling pretty good about this Bohemian adventure.  We had our apartment directions in hand & set out to find it.  Here, “The Babes in

Veniceland” ran into “locate the apartment” problems.  We quickly found the street, but the address was a business!  We traipsed north and south on the same street on both sides of the street for quite a while.  We checked the ally behind the address, but it just looked like

an ally.  We retraced our instructions from the vaporetto landing, to yet again, no avail.  When all else failed, Joe finally agreed for me to go into the business & ask directions.  Lo, they spoke as much English as I spoke Italian – very little, but with great hand signals.  I

learned that our landlady lived above the business.  I persuaded the proprietor of the business to call her on our behalf.  Our landlady was charming & beautiful, but she could not speak one word of English.  She raised a window in her apartment above the business &

shouted directions in Italian to us in the street.  Her volume was ever increasing – to make us understand, of course!  Finally, the business proprietor had mercy on us.  He followed her directions & escorted us to our apartment door.  It was in The Ally!  There was one tiny

canopy over many unmarked doors.  To the side of the canopy, in very small letters painted on the building when Caesar was in power, was the address 20 feet high in the air.  At this point in time, my Bohemian travel spirit was sagging a bit.  After extensive instructions to

Joe about opening the seven locks on the door, we gazed into the apartment with great surprise.  It was a delightful, three-level apartment.  Main level, a foyer & kitchen with glass door opening onto a lovely landscaped courtyard; second level, a very comfortable sitting

room with large couches, lots of pillows, fine Italian books, & a music system to enjoy; third level, a large bedroom with a view & a large bathroom.  We were the first “foreigners” to rent the apartment.  As luck would have it, our landlady had a gentleman come to give us

instructions about the apartment, tips on restaurants, & sights to see in that area, all given in English.  We somehow assumed that he was her brother, but upon later observation decided that his attention to her was really not “brotherly”.  Perhaps there was a slightly different

relationship…..  Viva Italia!

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