Healthier Crispier Baked Chicken
The key here is that someone else is doing the tasty bit for you. I’m using Kraft Food’s Triscuits. The sly bit here is the varied flavors Triscuits come in:
Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil
Fire Roasted Tomato and Olive Oil
Rosemary and Olive Oil
Parmesan and Garlic
Balsamic and Basil
They’ve done the flavoring and seasoning for you! I know, right!? Ahem. At this point, preheat your oven to 350F. So, for half a chicken breast, you are going to need about a handful and a half of crackers. Place the crackers in a zip-top baggie, close it up while getting most of the air out, and take out the day’s frustrations on it.
Not in the mood for chicken? Check out Food with Couch Change: Baked Potato
Once the crackers are broken up to your liking, or you are crying like a baby from relived childhood tragedies, time to look at the meat. If there is a lot of excess fat, the white/yellow bits below, connective tissue, or vasculature, trim that off and discard. You might be eating on a budget, but that doesn’t mean you’ll ingest anything.
If it’s a thick piece of meat, use a roller, hammer, or your fist to flatten it out to an even thickness. I doubled my yield by “butterflying” these super thick breasts with a sharp filet knife. Butterflying is a cutting technique where you half the meat by opening a cut along the side of the breast and fold it open.
Yes, frozen chicken and chicken tenders work fine, too. Just thaw the frozen meat slowly in a microwave or in running, cool water. For tenders, you can usually get three per breast half.
Now, to get your breading (the crackers) to stick you need to apply some sort of binding agent. You can use a well beaten egg, mayonnaise, buttermilk, plain yogurt, or sour cream, depending on your taste preferences and availability. For this article, I’m using two well beaten eggs and a spoonful of sour creme. One egg is plenty for a whole breast. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, making sure some comes with it when you pick it up. You need some liquid to make the coating stick, and hold the breading together as it bakes; else, it will fall off when touched.
Let the excess drip off and throw the meat into the zip bag with the crackers.
Add one or two strips at a time if you aren’t preparing an intact breast. Close the top and shake it, shake it good.
On a baking sheet, or some oven safe dish, spray non-stick oil, rub on some olive or vegetable oil, and place the crackered-up chicken onto the pan. I often throw down some aluminum foil and grease it, just so I don’t have to wash any more dishes.
Take any left over crumbs, sprinkle them across the chicken and gently press the crumbs into the chicken.
Cook for about 20 minutes with tenders and breast halves. When done, juices won’t be flowing, it will pull apart easily with a fork, and it is white all the way through.
There you have it! Easy, low fat, high fiber, and quite tasty crispy, breaded chicken. To make it a little fancy for that special someone, turn it into chicken marinara by melting some mozzarella on the chicken the last few minutes in the oven, then some jarred spaghetti sauce of your choice, just until it is heated through. Serve on a bed of pasta, and sweep them off their feet to make up for whatever you did wrong on Valentine’s Day.
Above, I paired my chicken with Jambalaya rice, roasted Yukon and sweet potatoes, seasoned baked cabbage, and baked okra. Timing was key in the meal. Everything had varying cooking times. Timing seems trivial, but it is key to success and something I still struggle with at times. We will discuss that in a coming blog post. Next time we will tackle a childhood favorite and make it grown up and even better.Thanks for coming back. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, please leave them in the comment section. Click back next week for new tips and tricks. Stay hungry. Stay classy-esque.