Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Strips

According to a recent article in the New York Post, home cooked meals rank pretty high on the list of things that make us happy. It turns out we are most content when we experience the simple things in life, and managing to fit in time for a family meal is considered more exhilarating than cash.

Do you think this is also true for the maker of the family meal? I remember many a dinner when I wanted to pull all of the hair from my head for the sheer stress caused by dining with my family. Or with one particular person anyway (hint: he’s my youngest child). It didn’t matter which foods I fed him, he was determined to eat what he wanted and nothing else. And what he wanted was the chicken nugget. And this didn’t make me very happy.

At that time I didn’t consider making homemade versions of so-called “kid food”, but do I ever wish I had. Luckily, it didn’t take me long to discover a little trick known as “yogurt marinade” and my homemade chicken strip making days began. They still continue today, and this recipe has appeared on the table for more than a few years. And that, along with dining with my family, makes me really happy.

Baked Chicken Strips

5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6-8 grinds of fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (or more if you like)

1 box of crackers, smashed into crumbs

Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry. Slice each breast into strips and set aside.

Combine the yogurt, salt, pepper and mustard in a bowl. Add the chicken and allow to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the chicken is resting, remove all of the crackers from the packaging, place them in a large resealable bag and pound with a rolling pin until a rough crumb remains.

Dredge the chicken into the crackers and coat all sides well. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and crackers turn golden. Serve warm.