I have mentioned that I am from the Southern United States. Lots of people associate Southerners with fried food. Lots of fried favorites originally came from the South.
We haven’t always fried foods in the South…mind blowing, I know. Food was cooked in pots over an open flame in the very early days. The frying came later as a way to preserve of food. Oh…and, supposedly, fried chicken came from Scandinavia…and Colonel Sanders was not Scandinavian or born in Kentucky….he was born in Indiana☺️.
I don’t fry alot of food. I don’t like the splattering mess or smell that it leaves behind…artery clogging properties, aside😉. In fact, I never fry chicken..neither does my mom, and I don’t remember my grandparents frying it that much either. I know..I’m a Southern imposter😂!
I use a method for baked chicken that is a pretty good substitute for fried chicken. It’s crispy, crunchy, and flavorful. It almost resembles a boxed chicken coating called shake’n bake that was my childhood favorite…that you can still buy…and I occasionally do😉. Did you know shake’n bake was invented in 1965? Time really flies, huh?
Did I mention scrap chicken uses up those partial bags of cabinet and freezer ingredients we all have hanging around? A pretty unimpressive picture of ingredients, huh?
Basically, this crumb mixture is whatever you have on hand. Good ideas are corn flakes, crackers, potato chips, rolls, stale bread, pretzels….the possibilities are endless…and will all give unique flavors. Be cautious of the sodium content of some of your ingredients. If using mostly potato chips, it may be too salty and inedible. That would be so bad🙁.
If you feel your mixture is too salty, just add in some plain bread to make up the difference. As most frugal cooks know, there is usually a cool solution 😎. My daughter told me to stop saying the word cool…is cool, not cool anymore?
My mix is:
a few tsp of goldfish crackers
A couple frozen hotdog buns
About 5 ritz crackers
One fresh hamburger bun
A tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp of garlic pepper blend
1/2 tsp of minced onion
1/4 tsp of salt
I used these marked down chicken thighs. I plan to have plenty leftover for chicken sandwiches and other meals☺️.
First, I put all the dry ingredients in the blender. Looks sorta odd, I know🙂. Looks like the fish are swimming(or are dead!) at bottom of the blender. Blend until pretty fine, then spread on to a foiled lined(optional) sheet pan and bake at 500 degrees until browned and crispy….watch this pretty close. You may have to stir the crumbs a bit to release some steam, then brown a little longer.
Basically, you are just removing moisture and turning these into a crispy, crumb coating. If you do t I used a piece of foil for this, which I will use a total of three times for the maximum benefit.
While the crumbs brown, pour a little flour all over the chicken to coat slightly, then mix one egg with 1/2 cup of milk, and a splash of hot sauce(optional, but super good).
You will notice that I am not fond of using multiple dishes and utensils, as I also despise washing dishes. I washed my flour bowl then reused it for the milk mixture. Just be careful not to cross contaminate since we are working with poultry☺️.
Pour the floured chicken into the milk mixture and coat well….. Bleh, looks kinda gross!…. I like to reuse that styrofoam tray that the chicken came in for the next part. Pour the coated chicken back into the tray.
Now, remove those browned crumbs from the oven and pour over top of coated chicken. Don’t throw away the foil! You can put your breaded chicken right back on there to cook it. Roll your chicken pieces in the crumb mixture and return to the tray. I don’t even coat my pan with oil or cooking spray since cooking the crackers releases oil onto the foil.
Cook at 450 degrees until crispy and brown, about 20 to 25 minutes…yum!
I wished you could hear the crunchy sound the chicken makes when I cut into it. My family loves this and will continuously snack on this chicken until it’s gone.
A few things:
You will notice that I am not a meticulous chef that forms a nice, neat dredging station that is going to cost me to waste flour and wash a lot of dishes. I do think that would photograph better, but in the words of a famous youtuber…”Ain’t nobody got time fer that”. Or, I don’t anyway😉.
I’m just a simple home cook that has to get stuff done with minimal fuss in a short amount of time. My chicken will never be perfectly coated in every single crevice…and that’s okay for me☺️.
You can skip browning the crumbs first and this will still make a pretty good, chicken coating, just not as crispy.
I am using the same foil again to take the chicken to work for lunch the next day☺️. If I use something that is disposable, I try to use it multiple times if I can. I was in a hurry so I knew this would save me a bit of cleaning time but no foil would have been best.
Sometimes I just take out the blade and toss my chicken to coat in the blender container😉. It works great!
If you are in a real hurry, don’t go through the flour and egg process, simply wet your chicken a bit then coat them in the crumbs. That’s how shake’n bake is done and it is a similar mixture. Then give yourself a little pat on the back because you provided food for your family that didn’t come in a take-out container☺️
Have you made a similar chicken coating? Do you use a blender instead of a food processer for most everything like me? Does the look of raw meat gross you out a little?