Our youngest grandson spent a long weekend with us so I wanted to make something special. He’s 4 years old so anything different, especially if it’s brightly colored appeals to him. For our dinner the first night I made Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta.
Imagine how delighted your kids will be when you serve Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta!
Almost every kid likes breaded chicken and when you serve it with colored pasta it’s sure to be a hit. Food coloring can be mixed to make lots of shades and colors so your imagination is the only limit! And kids gobble up Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta because it’s delicious and it’s fun.
I like to start the pasta early in the day so I can just finish cooking it right before dinner time. This gives me plenty of time to color the pasta and rinse it.
First I boiled a large pot of well salted water and then added the pasta. I used fettuccine but any long pasta will work. Use linguine, fettuccine, or even spaghetti.
I cooked the pasta for 8 minutes. It was definitely under cooked at that point but I just wanted it to be soft enough to bend easily into the bags. I finish cooking it at dinner time. In the meanwhile the pasta is going to get the color treatment. As soon as the pasta has been pre-cooked I rinse it in very cold water. I don’t want it to continue cooking.
Now for the Neon part of Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta!
To make the pasta into neon pasta I put 2 tablespoons of water in each of 5 quart size zip lock plastic bags. Next I added 20 drops of food coloring to each bag in the colors (red, blue, green, and yellow) that came in the box to four of the bags. I combined yellow and red to create orange just because Thomas liked the color.
I also made a bag of purple coloring but that was deemed a “girl color” so it didn’t make it to the final steps.
You could make just about any color and shade of color you like! It’s fun to play with the colors!
I divided the cooled pasta evenly between the bags and sealed them. Then I used my hands to gently move the pasta around in the bags to coat it all in the colors. To be sure the pasta picked up the colors I let it sit in the bags for a couple of minutes.
Next I rinsed each color pasta individually in cold water to wash off any excess food coloring. After the pasta was rinsed I put it in a container and refrigerated it until I was ready to make dinner.
It’s time to heat the pasta.
About 20 minutes before dinner I boiled a pot of water and added the pasta. I let it cook for about 3 minutes so it was hot and al dente.
You can’t have Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta without the chicken strips!
This part is easy. As the water was heating up for the pasta I pounded two chicken breasts so they were more or less even.
I was going to use three chicken breasts but they were large and after being pounded they were huge!
Then I gave them a quick dip in beaten eggs and dipped them in Panko Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. If you don’t have the Panko breadcrumbs regular Italian breadcrumbs are fine.
I set a skillet over medium heat and poured in a tablespoon of olive oil. When it was hot I added the chicken strips and cooked them, turning them occasionally, until the internal temperature was 165 degrees.
As soon as the pasta had finished cooking I drained it and tossed it with two tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon and a half of garlic salt. I kept the pasta hot until the chicken was done which was a matter of a couple of minutes.
When the chicken was cooked through I put some pasta on each plate and then topped it with a few chicken strips.
Kids and even grownups love eating Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta!
Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta
Chicken Strips with Neon Pasta is delicious and your kids will love the brightly colored pasta and so will the grownups in the family!
- Chicken Strips:
- 3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), pounded and cut into strips
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 - 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- Olive oil
- Colored Pasta:
- 1 lb. dry fettuccine or your choice of long pasta
- Food coloring in a variety of colors
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 11/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- Boil a pot of salted water and add linguine.
- Cook pasta per package directions until very al dente (about 2 minutes less than the recommended minimum cooking time).
- Drain pasta and rinse under cold water to stop it from cooking further.
- Pour 2 tablespoons water and 20 drops of food coloring to a plastic zip lock bag.
- Repeat the above step for each color you want to make.
- Portion pasta evenly and distribute between bags.
- Seal the bags and then gently move the pasta inside the bags to coat with the food coloring.
- Allow the pasta to remain in the bags for 1 - 2 minutes to become fully colored.
- Rinse pasta, one color at a time, under cold water to remove excess food coloring.
- Pound chicken breasts until they’re even and cut into strips.
- Dip strips into beaten egg then in breadcrumbs.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add chicken to hot oil and cook, turning a few times, until internal temperature is 165 degrees.
- While chicken is cooking boil a pot of water and add Neon pasta, cooking for 2 – 3 minutes (until pasta is hot and al dente).
- Drain pasta, add butter and garlic salt and toss gently.
- Top pasta with chicken strips and serve.