Tzatziki sauce spices up your standard baked chicken

Like all home cooks, I find myself in culinary ruts now and again.

We rotate through the same tried and true family favorites, and while everyone is pleased with these meals, it can get a little dull sometimes.

One gold-star recipe that Molly requests for birthday dinners is crispy chicken essentially chicken Parmesan. I decided to change it up and go Greek-style and serve the chicken with tzatziki sauce.

Molly, 9, prepped the chicken the same way we always do, since she was a little wary about the accompaniment change. Emma, 11, took the reins for the sauce.

Clay, 8, was assigned the duties that required some sort of tool use. He peeled, seeded and grated the cucumber.

Emma melted the butter in a small pan, then added the cumin seed. Stirring the seeds, soon they started to sizzle and smelled like an Indian restaurant.

Clay squeezed the garlic through a press into the pan, causing much spattering, which he loved, of course. It only takes a few seconds for this to become fragrant, at which point Emma quickly poured the mixture into the yogurt.

Clay added the cucumbers and Emma measured out the remaining spices. It tasted great. If I werent feeding kids, I would add a pinch of cayenne, but somehow my children seem to detect capsicum from a mile away and protest.

Instead of our usual Italian accompaniments of noodles and tomato sauce, we served the crispy chicken with steamed rice, green salad and this wonderful tzatziki sauce. It was a great success.

I imagine that if they had not been in on the preparation, my younger two could have put up their noses to this one, but it was received well, thank goodness.

Now I have another standby recipe to put in our repertoire.

mpoitras@discoveryspeed.com. Margery Reed Poitras is a former professional chef who now cooks for her kids and occasionally for the more mature palate.