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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.

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Crispy Baked Chicken and Gadget Update

Chicken à la noir.

Kinda wish I had that lighting all the time.

This was going to just be a gadget update, but I thought the chicken turned out so good,  I figured I’d include it.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my newest gadget and I’ve been using it pretty consistently since it arrived. I thought I’d give an update, because I’m really pleased with it. It’s almost all pros. It’s a breeze to use, it doesn’t take a lot of force to penetrate the meat. I love the way it infuses the meat with whatever seasoning or marinade I cover it with – quite literally it helps the meat absorb all the marinade in a couple of seconds. Another plus is how neat it is while tenderizing – the meat, especially chicken, doesn’t need to be wrapped before pounding – there is no meat flying around the kitchen. The real plus is how easily it cleans. Because of the guard between the base and the meat, stuff doesn’t get all caught up in the tines. A bit of soap and hot water and the thing is spotless. Really important with chicken. The one con I have, and it may be a strength issue for me, is that sometimes the tines get caught in the meat and I have to pry it out, kind of like pulling a stick out of mud, and start again. This happens with the thicker parts.

Today I used it to tenderize chicken breasts before breading and oven roasting them. When making this basic oven fried chicken, breasts can be difficult because they can dry out easily. Pounding them flat first makes for quicker cooking, less chance of drying out.  And here’s the recipe I used today:

Oven Fried Chicken:

First I seasoned the boneless breasts with salt and lots of pepper. I pounded them on both sides. Then I dipped them in an egg wash (1 egg and 2 tbsp of water per 4 breasts) and then dredged them in a mixture of bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs and seasonings – I used garlic powder, basil, sun dried tomato flakes, rosemary and a touch of oregano.  I lined them up on a foil covered baking sheet, covered them with foil and baked at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Then I raised the oven temp to 425 degrees, removed the foil and baked for an additional 5-7 minutes until crisp.

They were very moist on the inside, with a nice crisp crust. Leftovers will be great in lunch salads…

Mmm… onion rings

Per TaMara’s suggestion, I used panko for the breading this time.  Most excellent advice!  We’ve used this recipe before and I think it’s the best of those I have done myself.  The pancake batter recipe rings are an easier  preparation but the extra step of breading the battered rings is worth it.The shrimp were good but they were frozen and ready to fry so I won’t claim much credit.  I did goose the heat in my cocktail sauce with some sambal oelek but it was otherwise the standard preparation made with ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice and Worcestershire.

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.

Deep Fryer-Gadget Post

I decided to finally get a counter top deep fryer the other day.  I think it was the breaded onion rings that tipped me into it.  I did some research on line and came across this one.  It was rated as the best by one of the online groups and the reviews I read didn’t contradict that assessment.  After a couple of frying sessions with it I’m comfortable recommending it.  I doesn’t hold a lot but if you use the oven as a warmer you can get around that.  Large families may want to look for more capacity

Unlike every other fryer I’ve seen, this one has a tilted, revolving, basket.  The well holds about half the usual amount of oil and the revolving basket dips only a portion of the food into the oil at a time.  Because the basket and the well are tilted, the oil covers the food only at the bottom of the circle.  It seems to work well.

Tonight we had an all fried dinner-shrimp breaded with panko, onion rings breaded with some stale bread crumbs, and broccoli tempura.  Everything came out nicely and the big baking sheet with wire rack was perfect at keeping everything warm in a 200 degree oven.

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Mmm…Ham for Dinner

Just a quick slide show.  Questions?  I’ll answer in comments.  Merry Xmas and Ho Ho Ho!

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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.

Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve never done stuffed mushrooms before today.  Don’t really remember ever eating any.  I bought a fair sized box of mushrooms yesterday and rather than see them slowly turn brown I decided to try stuffing/baking them.  I looked at several recipes and got a fair idea of stuffing ingredients from this site. At another site there were some good tips on process.

None of the recipes I looked at had meat in the ingredient list.  Mine has some Italian sausage.  I sautéed three links sans skins, crumbled into a skillet.  When those were browned I drained them well, and squeezed out more grease with a wad of paper towels.  Most everything was done in the food processor:  The stems were minced along with a cup of dried tomatoes, a couple of cloves of garlic, and half an onion.  I added the sausage, about a cup of panko (bread crumbs), an egg, and a half cup or so of parmesan and gave all the stuffing ingredients a good spin to mix and chop them finely.  Added a glug or two of red wine to the mix in a bowl when it all was chopped/mixed/ready.

One of the recipes linked above mentioned pre baking the caps to lose some of the water, and I did so at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  I drained the liquids and them flipped the caps and stuffed them, and gave them 15 minutes in the oven.  Took them out long enough at the end to add some grated romano cheese, then back in just long enough to melt the cheese.

One of the drawbacks to “winging it” on a recipe is having a mismatch of quantities.  I ended up with more stuffing than I had mushrooms.  Oh well-it gave me a chance to see if they would make decent meatballs.  Alas, they were lacking in the “meat” part of “meatballs”.  LOL-they didn’t taste bad.  I may try them in a sammich later.

Enjoy!

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Poppers

OK, Mrs J”s Test Kitchen has turned out some poppers.  She went with milk->flour->egg->bread crumbs on the breading.  She blanched the peppers for two minutes before cooling and stuffing with cheese.  We both agree that another minute’s scald would have been better. The stuffing is cream cheese with shredded cheddar and jack cheeses.  I think just flour in the breading, along with milk and egg would be best.  The bread crumbs browned too quickly.  She used half panko and half seasoned Italian bread crumbs.  Maybe just the panko next time, I’ve noticed the other bread crumbs browning fast when I used them on shrimp before.  The dip is  Kraft Triple Cheese Ranch  dressing.  Good stuff.

Breaded Shrimp

These are the last of my shrimp.  Shudder to think where prices are going to go with all the oil loose in the Gulf.  Most recipes say to leave the tails on, that does make them look identifiably shrimp but leaves a bit of litter on the plate.  These you just pop into your mouth and eat.  Simple enough to do these, the peeling and deveining take longer.  Put the shrimp into a bag with some flour and shake to coat, then dredge them in beaten eggs and roll in the breading.  I used panko this time, it’s my personal favorite for this.  Drop them into 350 oil till they’re brown and serve them with the sauce of your choice.  The ketchup/horseradish cocktail sauce is good-add a little lemon and a shot of Lee & Perrin’s.  Tartar sauce works for me, Mrs J stays solely with the cocktail dip.  I like ‘em both.

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