The older Amelia gets, the more I have to remind myself that she is capable of more than I sometimes give her credit for. This was never more apparent than a couple of weeks ago when she asked to help me make chicken goujons for dinner.
Chicken goujons is one of her favourites, so I thought “why the hell not?!” and actually the whole process was pretty pain-free. Even though she usually eats this dinner with little or no hassle anyway, she was more eager than usual to chow down! Despite me trying to correct her several times, Amelia has decided that this meal is called Crusty Chicken (as opposed to my preferred Crispy Chicken!)
What you will need
2 slices of wholemeal bread
1/2 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
3-4 chicken breasts sliced into thin strips
1 egg, beaten
By the time she asked to help, I had already whizzed up the bread, mixed herbs, and smoked paprika to breadcrumbs, so these were ready to go. It’s literally as simple as tearing the bread up and chucking in a blender or food processor with the herbs and paprika! I had also already sliced the chicken breast into thin strips. I had a box of plastic gloves in the cleaning cupboard, and although they were obviously huge on Amelia’s tiny little hands, I managed to get one to stay on her hand by securing it around her wrist with a hairband! Clever mama!
Amelia took the slices of chicken and dipped them into the beaten egg, and then dipped the chicken into the breadcrumbs. She then used a pair of kitchen tongs to transfer the strip directly onto the wire shelf from the oven. I find if I cook these on a tray they get stuck and you end up losing half of the coating. The wire shelf is pretty easy to wipe down afterwards, and doing it this way means that the whole strip ends up nice and crispy.
After the first couple of strips, Amelia decided that it would be much easier to put all the chicken in the egg at once, and then into the breadcrumbs. Smart kid, I say!
Once she had covered all of the chicken, I put the tray in the oven, pre-heated to 200C, and cooked them for 20-25 minutes. Once they were cooked, I took the tray out and put it on the top of the oven. Amelia took her tongs again, and I explained to her that the metal shelf was really hot and if she let any part of her touch it then it would really hurt. She was great with this, and took some serious care to make sure she didn’t burn herself. Some of the strips were a little stuck to the shelf, so I went through and loosened them all up for her.
Using her tongs, she transferred the strips to plates, and was especially concerned with making sure that we all had our fair share. We served our strips with homemade potato wedges and vegetables.
Chicken Goujons and Beyond!
Needless to say, Amelia was adamant that we all cleared our plates, and also finished every last mouthful of her own! She has wanted to help with dinner every night since, and I am on the lookout for disposable gloves that will fit her!
Do you cook with your kids? I’d love to hear your stories and tips! And why not check out some of our other family friendly recipes too?