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Twistin’ Chicken

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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Kids need texture; it makes food more interesting and primes them for grown-up eating. This can be served warm or cold, and it is a nice twist on plain old chicken strips. Lemon is a good way to get kids used to sour flavors.

NotesToddler tip

Let them twist some lemon juice on it and then see if eating the chicken can make them do the Twist. After dinner, put some music on and dance!1. Use your child’s favorite dipping sauce, such as ranch or barbecue, to dunk these into. Mayonnaise with a bit of dried mustard and lemon zest is yummy, too.

2. Freeze your chicken slightly to make it easier to slice.

3. If you are concerned about thoroughly cooking your chicken, put it in a 300°F oven on a baking sheet to finish cooking for about 5 minutes.

4. Panko breadcrumbs are from Japan and can be found in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store.

Cooking MethodSauteeing



Kid FriendlyYes

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationLactose-free, Low-fat, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureCheesy, Crisp, Meaty, Savory, Tart


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 1 pound chicken tenders
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup coarse, dry breadcrumbs (or panko; see Notes)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil


  1. Cut the chicken lengthwise into ½-inch-wide strips. Mix together the lemon juice and cornstarch, then mix in the egg whites; set aside.

  2. For the breading: Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, zest, and salt in a low, wide dish or zip-top bag. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then into the breading mixture. Place onto a plate and set aside.

  3. Heat a sauté pan on medium heat and add the oil. Sauté the chicken strips until golden on both sides.

  4. Variations

  5. Try lime or orange juice and zest instead of lemon.

  6. Use turkey breast in place of chicken.

2008 Jennifer Carden


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