Next to Mexican cuisine...Italian finishes in a really close second. Actually, they may flip-flop between first and second place, depending on the day. It doesn't matter. I love them both! Anyway, I haven't been able to find too many recipes by Paula that have an Italian influence. Therefore, it was really exciting to stumble upon these delicious Italian Chicken Sticks. This recipe makes an excellent finger food or meal; the serving style is up to you.
ITALIAN CHICKEN STICKS
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of ground red pepper
8 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 egg whites
Marinara sauce, for dipping (Recommended: Barilla Marinara, approved by Bestlife.com)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a pie plate or platter, combine the shredded Parmesan, grated Parmesan, thyme, basil, oregano, salt, garlic powder, and red pepper. Dip the chicken strips in the egg white, then dredge them in the cheese and spice mixture. Place the chicken strips in a single layer on a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken sticks hot with marinara sauce.
Oh, the smell that filled my kitchen! I knew I loved them before I even had one. Seriously, they were really good. Minus the breadcrumbs, the cheese still provided a little crunch and the color turned out nice even without using butter. The egg white has only about 2 grams of fat, compared to the suggested 1 stick of butter....which is about 88 grams of fat! YIKES! Egg does the same job in holding the cheese mixture to the chicken, but won't stick with you like that butter will.
I also wanted to tell y'all about a 10-minute meal I made using the leftovers from this recipe. With the remaining marinara, chicken, shredded cheese and some whole wheat penne, you can make a nutritious meal in minutes. Just take some cubed Italian Chicken Sticks, marinara and cooked penne, mix them together and pour ingredients into a lightly sprayed dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees. I really don't like to waste food and I love simple meals. My experimental dish took care of that!
I hope you enjoy these healthy Italian Chicken Sticks!
NURITION FACTS (per serving): 249 calories; 7.4g fat; .8g carbohydrate; 42.1g protein; 0g fiber (does not include marinara sauce)