Along about now, the grill as a culinary appliance begins to pall. Not that grilling isn't still the preferred summertime cooking method, both for everyday meals and for deck parties. But, still, we get a little nostalgic for fixing a quick supper inside — in the air conditioning. And, perhaps we even long to hark back to the good old days and fix something that's a perennial favorite with the gang.
When in that mood, when we're seeking something fast, and relatively light, and "acceptable" to everybody's palates, at our house we tend to turn to chicken. Again.
Our exercise du jour, then, is to proffer some recipes that have become perennial favorites at our house, doing dinner time duty during all four seasons. They feature boneless, skinless white meat chicken done up with a minimum of fuss but a maximum of flavor.
Maybe they'll become favorites at your house too.
Sesame chicken strips
The accompanying tahini-lemon dipping sauce gives these quick strips a tropical feel. Serve with a rice pilaf (carrots, zucchini) and some chilled pineapple and honeydew chunks.
P.S. You can make extra sesame chicken strips (or use leftovers) to create a main dish salad. Use whole Bibb lettuce leaves as a base for the salad. Combine mixed spring greens (with radicchio), some shredded carrots, some green bell pepper strips and/or julienne zucchini pieces with a favorite balsamic vinaigrette. Add some sliced strawberries and toss gently again. Compose salads on the Bibb lettuce, top with the sesame chicken strips, then drizzle with a bit more balsamic vinaigrette.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size strips
1/4 cup salad dressing (or reduced-fat mayonnaise)
About 1 1/4 cups fine dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds (a combination of black and white ones is fun)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
About 1 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup salad dressing of reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (black)
1 teaspoon each, fresh lemon and lime juice