Now, many, many moons later, my boys have outgrown most of the game boards and for the life of me I can't seem to beat anyone at Monopoly anyway. There is something about that game that has me in jail almost the whole time. I also never catch a break when it comes to buying the good properties.
However, everyone loves family poker night. It turns out I have also passed on the art of giving a good "poker face". We usually play for candy or pennies and nickels, but most importantly we are in it for bragging rights. That's what everyone wants the most.
And here's the thing, I am not really the person to just open a bag of chips for game night. My family wants something substantial, something yummy and familiar that does not require a fork and knife. Have you ever tried to keep your cards hidden while cutting up a piece of food? I think not.
Instead, I try to make something quick and easy that can be picked up without getting your hands (and therefore cards and poker chips) dirty.
I'll tell you another one of my lazy secrets...I absolutely dislike dipping my chicken in the dipping trifecta of flour, egg, breadcrumbs. It's time consuming, wasteful and messy. That's when I began using Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix and Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing to coat my chicken. It's so much easier and tastes better too.
With this particular dish I serve the bites with extra Ranch dressing for dipping. The recipe also calls for 2 pounds of green beans, which will be more than you need for the chicken. However, these extra beans become the perfect side dish served upright in a glass jar and dipped into the extra Ranch dressing you have on the table. No one will even notice the beans are not covered in butter as you might usually serve them. The beans also taste great at room temperature so there is no worry in keeping them warm...perfect for a game table.
And let's not forget how kids are always willing to eat their vegetables when Ranch dressing is available for dipping. I have to admit, it does make most things taste better.
These will also be on my New Year's Eve menu because they are perfect for all ages. And if you have a little one, they are a great help at putting the chicken and beans together on the toothpick.
Dounble Ranch Chicken and Green Bean Bites
- 2 lbs fresh chicken tenderloins, cut into 2-3" pieces
- 1/4 cup Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
- 3/4 cup Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing
- 1-1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil
- 2 lbs fresh green beans
- juice of one lemon
- extra Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing for dipping
- Sprinkle chicken with Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, making sure all sides are coated (if it needs a little more, that's okay too). Place seasoned chicken in a bowl and mix together with Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing, coating all sides. In a separate bowl, add panko and coat each piece of chicken with breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet until all chicken is coated.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, blanche the beans in batches, about 5 minutes for each batch. Immediately plunge each batch of beans into ice water to stop the cooking process and keep the beautiful green color. Let sit in the ice water for 1-2 minutes and remove to a paper-towel lined tray. With 2 lbs of beans you will have 4-5 batches to cook.
- While the beans are cooking, heat a nonstick skillet with oil over low heat. Cook chicken until cooked through and golden brown on each side. You will also have to cook the chicken in batches so that you do not overcrowd the pan. Remove each batch to a paper-towel lined tray as it finishes cooking.
- When the chicken and beans are done cooking, slice each bean to an appropriate size to fit each chicken bite. Use a toothpick to put them together. Squeeze lemon juice over the tray of chicken and green bites and serve with extra Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dressing for dipping.
- You will have extra beans which you can serve in a jar (as seen in the picture) and dip them in the extra Ranch Dressing already on the table.
I hope you will enjoy this fun and easy recipe. It will enable you to enjoy more time with the family and give them a healthier choice during your own game night festivities.
Bonus tip....when I do pull out the bag of chips for game night snacking, tortilla chips are usually our first choice. Obviously tortilla chips and salsa are the perfect match, however if you are looking to elevate your dipping, mix your salsa together with Ranch dressing (1 cup salsa & 1/3 cup Ranch). Oh my gosh, you'll never go back to eating plain salsa again.
Be sure to visit Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
Disclosure: I have been compensated for my time in creating this recipe. As always, opinions in this post are 100% my own.