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A FAMILY MEAL MADE WITH HELP FROM LITTLE HANDS
Post by Lunches + Littles
As busy parents, preparing meals just kind of becomes second nature to us, doesn’t it? Mealtimes happen every single day, and we can easily get in the habit of just getting something cooked and on the plates, versus enjoying and even sharing the prep time in the kitchen. I’m definitely not perfect, but I strive to be intentional in this area, because I believe that kids in the kitchen isn’t just fun, it is also a great opportunity to teach your little one(s) new skills, share facts about the foods we eat, and get picky eaters, especially, excited about their next meal. My 3 and 4 year old both love kitchen time with Mommy/ Daddy. It is a great time to connect one-on-one (we usually switch off) and make mealtime something we all look forward to (instead of dread)!
Last week I made some homemade fried chicken sandwiches that were the perfect blend of comfort and flavor on a bun. I knew that I would have to make them again soon, but this time with my son. There are SO many parts to this recipe / meal that a little one can help be a big part of. Oh, and did I mention how good these sandwiches are? Oh. My. Goodness. So good. Check out this family-friendly recipe* below, and look for my Kid Tips throughout on how to make meal prep perfect for little hands!
HOMEMADE FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICHES + ROOT VEGETABLE FRIES (SERVES: 4)
+ 2-3 large carrots, 1-2 large parsnips, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 small shallot, a small handful of fresh dill, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 lemon, 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp paprika, 2-3 large eggs, ¾ cup neutral oil (canola, grapeseed, etc), 12-20 bread and butter chips, 4 good quality potato buns, and salt and pepper.
+ Preheat oven to 450°F.
+ Prep produce: peel carrots and parsnips and cut into long strips. Peel and finely chop shallot. Pick dill from stems and finely chop fronds. Half lemon. Set all aside.
+ Roast vegetables: toss carrots and parsnips with 3 tbsp oil and then season generously with salt and pepper. Next, arrange carrots and parsnips on a rimmed baking sheet (you can use parchment paper here if you would like) and roast for approximately 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
+ Make sauce: combine, shallot, dill, and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Squeeze half of your lemon juice into bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cut remaining half of lemon into wedges and set aside for later.
+ Bread chicken breasts: season chicken with salt and pepper. Then, beat eggs in a medium bowl and season egg mixture with salt and pepper as well. Whisk flour, paprika and 1 tsp salt in a separate medium bowl. Dip chicken breasts in flour first, then egg. Repeat, and then finish with the flour (this triple dredge is the key to the crispy coating that these sandwiches result in).
+ Fry chicken: this step is definitely all for the parents! Heat ¾ cup neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts 2 at a time, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, approximately 4 minutes total time. Transfer fried chicken to a wire rack to drain.
+ Finish up by spreading a little dill sauce on the bottom of your rolls and top with chicken and pickles (if desired). Serve sandwiches with lemon wedges, root vegetable fries and extra sauce for dipping. We also served ours with a quick salad! Enjoy!
*Original recipe courtesy of Marley Spoon
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