Do you ever just feel, sort of, lopsided in January? Are you fighting to feel normal? Is there pressure to wake up early, get organized, eat better, and stay on track? And yet, do you feel like you’re failing? Are you washed away by the tiredness of the day, the inconsistency of your emotions, and an overall overwhelmed and “just can’t even” feeling? I’m there too. In fact, I’m there almost every January.
I’ve got a secret for you, it’s called “Gentle January,” and you need to get on the train. It will take you to a happy place filled with rest and Homemade Pan Fried Chicken Fingers.
To be honest, this January has been better than the rest. I’ve learned from my past mistakes that brought me to Mariah Carey level breakdowns. None of that anymore. I’ve found the antidote to heavy, soul-baring Januarys, and it’s not in a diet. You can’t find it in a self-help book. It’s unique to everyone.
Gentle January started a few years back when I realized that I’m not myself in the dark winter months and yet, I still acted like I was. My standards of human behavior were just too high. I still tried to wake up early. I still tried to diet away my holiday weight. I tried to see friends, be social, and stay on top of my correspondence. It made my SAD worse. It made it ten times worse.
Want to know the key to “Gentle January?” It’s unique to each person. You listen to one rule and for it to work you take it to heart.
- Be gentle on yourself
Did you see that coming? Yep! Listen to your body. Stay in tune with your needs. Make sure you recognize when you need to just stay home. What does my Gentle January consist of? Lots and lots of amazingness. Because, once I started to lean into the month, accept it for who it was, accept my restrictions, I soon fell in love with the slow, cold month that used to rob me of joy.
My January looks like this now. I bask in the small moments of sunlight. I take vitamin D & B12. I wake up with the sun. I shorten my to-do lists. I delegate. I eat what my body tells me to eat. I make dinner when I can, I bring it home when I can’t. I sleep. I rest. I watch movies. I read books. I stay quiet. I listen. I take baths. I paint my nails. I say no.
Your Gentle January might look different. You might keep a run every evening, if that’s your kind of thing. It might include yoga. It might be going out to dinner two times a week. It might include seeing your friends. That’s what you have to recognize in yourself. What works for you in October might not work for you in January.
Along those same lines of eating what your body tells you, Homemade Pan Fried Chicken Fingers. Yes. The ultimate comfort food. I’ve taken to a cup of yogurt for breakfast, two cups of coffee before noon, veggies and roasted meat for lunch, and peeling an orange for an afternoon snack. This has left the calories for dinner wide open. So, Homemade Pan Fried Chicken Fingers it is. How do I know how to make the most bomb chicken fingers? I’ll let you in on a secret.
I used to work at a restaurant that served them. Well, they were served at a quickie-mart that the owners also owned. After I prepped and served breakfast, I made chicken fingers and jojos to be sent off to the mart across the street before the noon rush. I’ve made these bad boys a few times before. The trick? Double bread them. Always. And sometimes, if you’re really into it, triple bread them like no one is watching. If that’s what you’re gentle January is telling you to do.
And, it is.
Homemade Pan Fried Chicken FingersPrint Recipe
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- canola oil, enough to fill up 1/2 inch in the pan
Mix the flour, seasoned salt, white pepper, and garlic powder together in a shallow dish. Mix the eggs, buttermilk, and salt together in a separate shallow dish.
Add the canola oil to a large cast iron skillet. Slowly heat to 360-370 degrees. If you don't have a temperature gauge, keep the temperature medium/high and it's ready when you drop a piece of batter in the oil, and it bubbles to the top.
Prep the chicken tenders by first dipping each one into the flour mixture first, and then dipping it into the egg mixture. Repeat this step once more and end with the flour mixture. Press the chicken into the flour firmly on the last dip to make sure the batter compresses against the chicken.
Fry the chicken in the preheated oil 3-4 minutes on each side. The time will vary depending on the size of the chicken tenders. To insure proper food safety, make sure the internal temperature registers 165 degrees before consuming.
Drain on a cooling rack, and sprinkle with salt immediately.