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Friday Recipe Exchange: Oven Baked Chicken

Chicken à la noir.

Chicken à la noir.

I thought we’d covered oven baked chicken before, but it turns out we have not. Since this is one of my favorite ways to make chicken, I was surprised. So that’s tonight’s theme. There are many different ways to go about making crispy baked chicken, I like Italian bread crumbs and panko for mine. Sometimes I soak the chicken in buttermilk for an hour and use that instead of egg to get the breadcrumbs to adhere. But if I’m in a hurry, it’s just the traditional recipe that I’ve posted below. And by traditional, I mean the one I grew up with, although my mom used rice crispies and cut up chicken pieces.

To change things up, you can add ingredients, like parmesan cheese, sesame seeds (there’s a recipe for that below), corn flakes or rice crispies. I saw a very interesting recipe recently that used toasted pecans, breadcrumbs and panko as the coating. I’m going to recipe test that one when I have a chance.

If you want something a little different, one of my favorites is Crispy Potato Chicken (recipe here).

Craving a Crispy and Spicy Chicken Sandwich?  Here’s a recipe that comes close to a famous fast food joint.

And for something completely different, how about Baked Chicken with Peaches? (recipe here)

If you’re looking to barbecue chicken that’s not all scorched on the outside and raw inside, either on the grill or in the oven, I have some simple tips here.

Grilled, baked, fried or barbecued, what’s your favorite style of chicken? Do you have one of those favorite childhood foods you just have to make once a week or so? Share some recipes in the comments.

On to tonight’s two featured recipes:

Oven Fried Chicken

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 bonelss chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water**
  • salt & pepper to taste (at least 1/8 tsp each)

large mouth bowl, large plate and baking sheet lined with foil or parchment

Wash and pat chicken dry. In a large bowl, add water, eggs, oil, salt and pepper and beat well. Mix together and spread Italian breadcrumbs and panko evenly on large plate. Take chicken pieces one at a time and dip in egg wash, coating completely, dredge  in bread crumbs until lightly coated on all sides. Place on baking sheet. Bake  at 375 degrees for 30 minutes with foil covering the chicken, uncover and cook additional 15 minutes.

If you want to punch up the coating, you can add additional dry herbs to the breadcrumb mixture, I usually add some extra garlic and onion powder, a touch of cayenne, a bit of dried basil and rosemary.

This next recipe is great when the kids want chicken fingers, or it can be used with breasts and thighs as well, but you’ll need to increase the portions of breadcrumbs and sesame seeds to equal 3 cups.

Sesame Chicken Fingers

  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp limejuice
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders

baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment or foil

2 bowls and 1 plate

Mix mustard, honey & limejuice in bowl, set aside. On plate mix salt, pepper, breadcrumbs & sesame seeds. In second bowl, add egg, water & oil. Dip chicken in egg wash then dredge in breadcrumbs. Line on baking sheet, bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, should be crispy on all sides. Serve with mustard dipping sauce, waffle fries and a fresh vegetable tray for a quick and easy dinner.

Crispy (and spicy) Chicken Breast Sandwiches

The other day on another blog, someone mentioned making chicken patties. There were some questions about the recipe, so I went and took a look. It sounded great and I thought, I should make that. But when I went to make it, remembered it called for ground, cooked chicken and thought, eh, too much work. I prefer a chicken breast cutlet with a crisp, spicy crust, anyway. So I decided to play with ingredients to come  up with something that made me feel guilty eating it. All spicy and crispy. This what I came up with:

Crispy Chicken Breast Sandwiches

  • 4 large boneless-skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 egg (if you’re going to bake, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to egg)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • Olive oil

Spice Mix

  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dry basil
  • 2 tsp of celery seeds
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp of paprika

Sandwich Fixin’s

  • 8 crusty sesame sandwich rolls
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce
  • Dill pickle (or for extra spice, jalapenos – my choice)

skillet

Fillet breasts to make two thin fillets from each breast and then soak in pickle juice for 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to buttermilk and let marinate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together panko, bread crumbs and spice mix. Beat egg.

Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, dip in egg and then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well. Fry in skillet with 1-2 tbsp of oil, turning until golden brown on both sides. Or alternately, bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. (I covered it for the first 10-15 minutes to keep it moist, then uncovered to get it crispy).

Serve with sandwich fixin’s.

Cooked fillets can be frozen and reheated in the oven at 450 degrees until heated through.

Lettuce Wraps

I’ve pretty much given up bread in my daily life.  I don’t deny myself when we eat out or I’m travelling, but most days I don’t see a lot of bread or pasta.  One of my favorite substitutes has become lettuce wraps.  Usually they are messy and yummy, nothing I’d serve to anyone else.  But today’s were a bit more elegant, so I thought I’d share.

Tomorrow peaches arrive from the western slope, so if I get to the farm stand early enough I may actually get some.  They go fast.  The western slope of Colorado grows some of the best peaches anywhere.  If you search “peaches” in the W4DS box (if you’re unsure, see instructions here)  you’ll be treated to a slew of peach recipes.  Last year, this time, we had “Peach Week” – yeah I was pretty sick of peaches by the time we were done, but some good recipes came out of it.  Especially the peach salsa and peach chutney.  Yum.

Back to the chicken:

Easy Lettuce Wraps

  • 1 head romaine hearts, washed, dried and separated
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 apple (I used a Jazz which had the perfect blend of sweet & tart for the chicken), cored and diced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Dressing:

  • 2 parts mayonnaise
  • 1 part red wine vinegar

Mine was 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup vinegar – you can adjust depending on how much dressing you like.

Mix chicken, pecans, apple and seasoning together.  Mix together dressing and combine with chicken.  This tastes best when it sits for a while – I usually put it together the night before – but 1/2 hour to an hour would be good.  Scoop a couple of tablespoons in each lettuce leaf.  Munch away.

Panko Fried Chicken

Last night it just had to be fried chicken. Three problems with that craving.  One – I’m very temped to buy somebody else’s fried chicken.  Two – I hate deep frying anything.  I loved fried food, don’t get me wrong, but I hate the mess.  So I usually do the Oven Fried chicken.  Which brings us to problem three last night – not enough time for oven fried chicken.

There was a lot going on and I didn’t have the time to bake chicken, especially since I hadn’t taken any chicken out to thaw, so I had to come up with something that would be quick and easy.

My solution was to take 4 small boneless chicken breasts, quick thaw them in cold water, pound them flat (I wrap them in plastic first).  I dipped them in an egg wash (2 eggs with just a bit of water, salt and pepper) and then dipped them in my seasoned panko breading – I used basil, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic.  Heavy on the pepper.  But wait, it wasn’t real panko.

Lfern had mentioned she missed panko breading and I had a thought in my head that crushed rice chex would make a good substitute.  I ran them through my mini-food processor until I had 2 cups of course ground chex.  I thought the texture was very close to panko and took spicing well.  It fried up with a satisfying crispness, very much like deep fried chicken.

Since the breasts were so thin, I only needed 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter (butter gives them a rich flavor, olive oil keeps butter from burning).  I quickly browned the breasts in the hot oil, reduced the heat and let them cook for 15 minutes turning several times, so as not to burn.  I made a real nice chicken gravy with the pan drippings – I have been thrilled with how nice gravy turns out in a cast-iron skillet.  Served with mashed potatoes and garden salad that had just about a bit of everything it.

It all looked good and I was going to take pictures but haven’t recharged the batteries since I got home.  Yes, yes, I am as disappointed as you are.  Maybe JeffW will come up with some fried chicken for us this week to make up for my lack.

Mystery Meals

I shun plastic whenever possible.  So my meats, poultry and fish are wrapped in foil in the freezer.  I think it keeps them better than plastic bags, less freezer burn, etc.  Now this poses a problem, mainly identification.  There are many ways to solve this – freezer pens, freezer tape, segregation.  The latter is what I’ve always done.  I just have everything separated and I can reach in and grab a wrapped package and know if it’s chicken breasts or ribeye.

Or at least I could.  Something happened this week.  I’m blaming it on a capricious freezer fairy.  But I have reached in, grabbed a foil wrapped package, put it in the refrigerator to thaw, unwrapped it and WTF?!   Chicken thighs turned out to be chicken breasts, not that big of a deal.  Hamburger turned out to be small piece of sirloin.  A little more challenging.

Tonight I thought for sure I had it right.  Boneless chicken thighs.  I was going to slice them up, stir fry them with some green onions, garlic and Ponzu sauce and serve with brown rice.  Yummy and easy.

My chicken thighs?  London broil.  Luckily it was still slightly frozen, so I could slice it thin without too much effort and then I prepared it just as I would have the thighs.  Whole different flavor, but what the heck, I’m always up for a little adventure in cooking.

Tomorrow?  I’m still searching for those boneless chicken thighs.  This time I”m sure I have it right.  BBQ and garlic mash potatoes.  Or not.

BTW, sliced up the tomato today and it was awesome.  Can’t wait for the real harvest.

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