Here's Why Haylie Duff Prefers Cooking With Pre-Made Chicken Strips - Exclusive

When you're in the poultry section of the grocery store, you might feel torn between the options. One part of you might want to buy those organic, free-range chicken breasts so you can whip up a preservative-free dinner of this tender, nutritious protein. But then your eye catches those pre-cooked chicken strips, and a different part of you is tempted to grab them instead — after all, you can save yourself a good 15 minutes of prep time.

The time-saving side of you might be onto something, suggests Haylie Duff of the "Real Girl Kitchen" enterprise, which includes a blog, cookbook, and a TV show on the Cooking Channel. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, the mother of two (and sister of celeb Hilary Duff) said she is a fan of cooking with Tyson's chicken strips rather than dealing with those cold, slippery pink cuts of poultry that have to be handled with so much skill. "I think you can really botch raw chicken breasts. I think you can really overcook it. I think you can not season it correctly all the time. I think that there's certainly a margin for error with it," Duff explained. "And for me, what I was blown away by the most with Tyson Simply Roasted is that it actually tastes like roasted chicken. It is roasted chicken. It's all natural. There's no antibiotics." Plus, there's nothing wrong with using a kitchen "shortcut" in the first place, the Lifetime movie actress emphasized. "It's a really good choice for food for your family. And you're not sacrificing flavor or quality, even though it's a pre-made product," Duff added.

Haylie Duff says moms feel too much pressure in the kitchen

Why do we associate being "good" with preparing raw vs. precooked chicken, anyway? (It's just chicken!) According to Duff, many mothers place unreasonable expectations upon themselves to be perfect"— and, we need to cut that out! "I think we live so much in this world of this unattainable 'momming,'" Duff said. "I never felt more pressure as a mom than I did in those first few weeks of the pandemic, when every time I opened Instagram, the most elaborate activities were going on, the most elaborate crafts. And I was like, 'We are just trying to get through a day over here where there's no meltdowns and everyone's happy!'"

Duff added that her "Real Girl Kitchen" content offers her a way to keep everyone happy and fed, without involving complicated cooking techniques or difficult-to-obtain ingredients. "It is something that I feel passionate about talking about, and helping moms figure out how to simplify their life, and how to feel like they're accomplishing it all," she said, "and feeling empowered in that way."

Check out Haylie Duff's Thai Curry Chicken and Rice recipe on the Tyson website. For more cooking tips and to follow her acting adventures, follow her on Instagram.