Chicken Fingers with Butternut and Brussels

Overview

Serves 6 for dinner

1 hour (45 minutes active time)

The rundown:

  1. First you'll put the veggies in the oven
  2. Then you'll prep the wet batter and dry batter
  3. Then you'll coat the chicken tenders with the batters
  4. Then chicken goes in the oven (while the veggies are still finishing roasting)

allergies and dietary restrictions:

  • Nut free
  • Can be made gluten free (see below)

substitutions:

  • To make gluten free, take 2/3 cup of slivered almonds and process them in a food processor (or blender, or Bullet) until fine. Substitute for bread crumbs.

grown-up pro-tips:

  • Money saving tips:

    • Buy a whole butternut squash, cut it before you start cooking with child

    • Buy chicken breast instead of tenders. Cut into strips and pound to make thinner. Prep before you start cooking with your child.

  • To save time, you can trim ends off of brussels sprouts before you start. But you don’t need to!

  • We keep the butternut squash and brussels separate on the pan to help kids who don’t like things mixed together. But if that’s not an issue for your kiddos, mix away!

Shopping List

  • 1 lb chicken tenders (if you buy breasts, will need to slice into strips and pound thin)

  • 2 lbs pre-cut butternut squash cubes (or 1 whole butternut squash, cubed)

  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts (not on the stalk)

  • 1 egg

  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt

  • Bread crumbs (you’ll use 1 cup)

  • Dried oregano

  • Pantry items:

    • Olive oil

    • Salt

    • Pepper

Special Tools

  • 2 baking pans with rims (or large baking dishes if you don’t have rimmed)

Ready to cook? Instructions below

  • Wash hands

  • Collect ingredients

    • 1 lb chicken tenders
    • 2 lbs pre-cut butternut squash cubes
    • 2 lbs brussels sprouts
    • 1 egg
    • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
    • Bread crumbs
    • Dried oregano
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and Pepper
  • Collect tools

    • 2 baking pans with rims (or large baking dishes if you don’t have rimmed)
    • Cutting board
    • Measuring spoons (tablespoon, ½ teaspoon, ¼ teaspoon, 1 teaspoon
    • Measuring cups (¼ cup, 1 cup)
    • Medium mixing bowl
    • Plate
    • Pastry brush
    • Grown-up chef knife
    • Spoon
    • Mixing spoon
  • Grown-up: preheat oven to 400F

    • position racks to make space for 2 baking sheets

  • Paint baking pans with olive oil

    • Measure 1 tablespoon olive oil, dump onto one baking pan

    • Use a pastry brush to paint the whole pan

    • Repeat for second baking pan.

      • Set aside one pan for later.

    • Grownup: while your child works, move onto the next step

  • Grown-up: wash and prep brussels

    • Wash 1 lb brussels sprouts, cut off the ends with grownup chef knife and cutting board

    • Arrange onto one side of one baking sheet, including any loose leaves that fell off

  • Add butternut squash to the pan

    • Pour cut butternut squash cubes onto other half of baking sheet next to brussels

  • Season veggies with salt

    • Measure 1/2 tsp salt and sprinkle over brussels sprouts

    • Measure 1/2 tsp salt and sprinkle over butternut squash

  • Season veggies with pepper

    • Measure 1/4 tsp pepper and sprinkle over brussels sprouts

    • Measure 1/4 tsp pepper and sprinkle over butternut squash

  • Coat veggies

    • Use hands to mix each side, coating veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper

    • Spread out veggies in one even layer

  • Wash hands

  • Grown-up: veggies in oven

    • Grownup: put veggie tray in oven, bottom rack

    • Kid: set timer for 20 min

  • Measure ¼ cup greek yogurt

    • Scoop with spoon into ¼ cup measuring cup

    • Scrape out with spoon into medium mixing bowl

  • Germ alert!

    • Eggs have germs. No tasting eggs until they’re cooked, and make sure you wash your hands and work surface after you touch them.

  • Add one egg

    • Crack one egg

    • Add to medium mixing bowl

  • Wash hands

  • Measure 1 teaspoon dried oregano

    • Pour in same mixing bowl

    • What does oregano smell like?

  • Measure ½ teaspoon salt

    • Measure 1/2 tsp salt

    • Add to same mixing bowl

  • Stir

    • Until everything’s combined

  • Measure 1 cup bread crumbs

    • Pour onto a plate

  • Germ alert!

    • Raw chicken has germs. No tasting chicken until it’s cooked, and make sure you wash your hands and work surface after you touch them.

  • Assemble chicken fingers:

    • Dip a chicken strip in yogurt mixture, coat both sides

    • Dip in bread crumbs, coat both sides

    • Lay on second baking sheet

    • Repeat for each chicken tender in the package

  • Wash hands, Clear work surface and wash surface

  • Grownup: stir veggies, chicken in oven

    • When timer goes off, take veggies out of oven, stir with mixing spoon.

    • Put veggies back in oven, and put chicken in oven at same time.

    • Kid: set timer for 15 min

  • While you wait: Clean up, set the table, play a game (“I spy” is fun in a kitchen!)

  • Grownup: take food out of oven

    • When timer goes off, check that chicken fingers are done through.

    • Let everything cool for 5 minutes.

  • Nom!

  • Clean up cooled baking pans

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