Guest blogger Megan Jessop reminds us that fancy dinners aren’t just for adults on Valentine’s Day. Here’s an easy twist on a classic ‘high brow’ dish that’s easy to make, and your Lil’ Valetines will love.
A Romantic Dinner for Your Kids
If you have ever opened up one of Julia Child’s cookbooks, you have likely looked over the recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken Kiev. Both of these dishes involve pounding chicken breasts thin and stuffing them with ham and cheese or herbed butter. Then you must roll the breasts tight so that the contents don’t fall out. Finally you must bread each breast with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, and then bake or fry in oil. This is truly a romantic dish and an impressive one too. But who can get to this on a daily basis? Instead I’ve come up with a version that is so fast and tasty even your kids will look forward to helping you make it and will eat every last bite.
For two single servings
- Four Chicken Tenders cut up in small pieces (any chicken would work)
- 12 Ritz Crackers (you could use breadcrumbs but Ritz crackers makes this dish tasty)
- Tablespoon of Butter
- Two Slices of Ham cut up in small pieces
- Two Slices of Cheese (use your child’s favorite, but Swiss cheese is Julia’s preference)
- Two oven safe ramekins (small cooking bowls)
Take your cooking bowls and butter the bottom and sides. Break three Ritz Crackers in the bowls, making a thin layer (You could also use breadcrumbs for this step). Next, put down your layer of chicken pieces, making a thick layer. Then, add a layer of ham, followed by your a layer of cheese. Then top your meal with one more layer of crackers (three each again). Kids love to break up the crackers and will be eager to help with all of the assembly of this meal.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Once out of the oven, use a knife to cut around the edges, making it easier to remove the meal to a plate. Serve with some steamed veggies and you have a complete meal.
When I make this dish for my kids I make six servings and freeze the extras for another day. It is already an easy dish to make, but this saves me even more time. It is best to take them out of the freezer and defrost before baking.
One final note: This dish can be made family style in a large baking dish. Simply use the same assembly pattern: butter, crackers, chicken, ham, cheese and then crackers again in the proportions needed to fill your dish. Bake the same and make sure all the Chicken is cooked.
Enjoy! — Megan Jessop
About the author:
Megan Jessop is a Child psychologist and mother of two preschoolers. Megan is also a writer and member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.