My Boys’ Favourite ‘Flat’ Chicken

This weekend, I embarked on writing on the topic of cross-contamination. As a parent with children with food allergies…it is one of my greatest fears.

The more I wrote, the more I realized how much a factor it plays in my daily life. Cross-contamination touches so many parts of my life the story seemed to take on a life of its own.

I am going to take my time with it and present it as a series. In the meantime, this weeks posts will be a series of simple allergen free dinners that our family enjoys.

To start off the week, I am offering one of my boys’ favourite dinners…‘Flat’ Chicken.
Below is Michael’s finished masterpiece.

Michael's flat chicken dinner with rice and peasNamed appropriately as my boys enjoy flattening the chicken themselves!

This is a great hands on recipe for children to experience a start to finish meal. This recipe also offers children an opportunity to try new flavours by choosing their own spices. I am sure you all have an array of them, like I do, tucked away in your cupboards.

Bring them all out to the counter and let your children familiarize themselves with their smells. I often remind my kids that many of the spices before them they have already enjoyed in other dishes without perhaps even knowing.

Chili Powder in the Barbeque Sauce for the Ribs, Sage in our Dairy Free Stuffing, Thyme on our Roast Pork, Oregano on Pizza.

My boys are not always involved in the preparation of dinner so this recipe gives us the opportunity to share some quality time…I need to incorporate their skills more often!

I hope you will find this a fun introduction to the joys of cooking in your kitchen with your children.

Boys’ ‘Flat’ Chicken

2 chicken breasts, butterflied
enough canola oil for coating chicken
variety of spices
salt and pepper

I use my Cuisinart Griddler for this recipe. Turn the grill to high.
Meanwhile, prep the chicken:
Place a sheet of wax paper on the counter and place butterflied chicken breasts on top and cover with another sheet of wax paper.
As we do not have a mallet, we use an old rolling-pin to flatten the chicken. Kids enjoyed this part!

Matthew using the rolling pin to flatten his butterflied chicken breast

Peel off the top wax paper
Drizzle a bit of canola oil over the chicken and rub it in all over.
Now the fun part! Kids can choose their spices to sprinkle over their chicken.
Rub the spices into the chicken.

Matthew’s chicken breast is on the left and Michael’s is on the right.

boys flattened chicken breasts with spices

Tip 1: I sometimes advise the boys to tap a bit of spice into the palm of their hands and then using their fingers, sprinkle the spices over the chicken. It eliminates the problem of dumping a whole pile of spices in one dose.

Matthew’s spices included: Chili Powder, Ground Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, salt and pepper.

Michael’s spices included: Thyme, Oregano, Chili Powder, Italian Seasonings, salt and pepper.

Place the chicken spice side down and cook on high for approximately 3 minutes. Turn and cook a further 3 minutes.

flattened spiced chicken breasts on cuisinart griddler

Tip 2: The boys help with the turning of the chicken with supervision.

The boys enjoyed their ‘Flat’ Chicken with a side of Basmati Rice and Peas. Below is Matthew’s masterpiece. Yummy!

Matthew's spiced flattened chicken breast with basmati rice and peas


P.S. Is there a favourite recipe your children enjoy assisting with in the kitchen?
How often do your children help out with meals?


Summer Garden Corn Salad

Our family loves this recipe!  It combines all the best of the summer veggie season in one simple dish.

A bowl of fresh corn salad

 A stop at the local Farmer’s Market is all you need.

Fresh veggies for the corn salad


This recipe was adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.

Summer Garden Corn Salad

6 ears of corn, shucked
1/2 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chiffonade fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced)

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Cook the corn for 5 minutes until the starchiness is just gone.
(fresh corn does not need to cook for long)
Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.
When cool, cut the kernels off the cob.
Toss the corn kernels with your diced veggies, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. 
Add the fresh basil just before serving.

Tip 1.  Salad tastes even better the next day. 
Tip 2.  Other tasty additions: diced avocado and roasted beets, diced cooked chicken or ham, fresh peas, quinoa or sprinkled on a salad…use your imagination and taste buds!

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS before you purchase products.

Have you adapted similar recipes for your own food allergy needs? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments!