OK, Kevin, this one’s for you – it’s super easy (barely cooking) and pretty fast, not counting the one to four hour marinading time. I bet the chicken could be put in the marinade in the morning, tossed in the fridge, and be ready to use when you get home from work. I know from reading your blog, $4.00 gas, you make a super effort to eat well – try this and see if you can convert your little one. Have him help you get the bread crumbs on the chicken – kids are always more likely to eat something they have a hand in making.
Bobby Flay had his recipe featured in Parade several months ago – it was featured as a retro take on chicken, harkening back to the 60′s. When I was a child in that era, I LOVED Shake’n Bake chicken or pork chops – in my mind it SO beat out half the casseroles and other concoctions my Mom made – anyone out there remember Porcupine Meatballs?
My son loves this today – when I made it tonight I called him to dinner twice – the second time I told him it was “Oven Fried Chicken.” You should have heard the plaintiff surprised, pleased and faintly awed tone as he replied, “Really?” He was at the table in five seconds flat.
And, yes, I did ask him how it compared to his gluttonous binge of the Tyson’s Nuggets we tried over the weekend – and he just said, “Mom, this is so good, so good.” I think kids really like the crunch. Is it as good as fried? I’d have to hedge on that one…but it is easier, uses boneless skinless chicken, and there’s barely any clean up. The chicken, by the way, was moist, tender and succulent.
I modified Bobby’s recipe just a hair – I thought he used way too much buttermilk and breadcrumbs and the extra just had to be thrown away.
I went full on Retro with my meal: I served the Oven Fried Chicken with our favorite Glazed Carrots along with an Iceberg Wedge Salad. The carrots were about $1.10 to make, and the Iceberg was on sale for 78 cents. I used half a head – with a quick home made blender dressing, sprinkled with a little red pepper for color, the salad ran about a buck.
Bobby Flay’s Oven Fried Chicken, Serves 4, cost about $1.85
- 3/4 cups low-fat buttermilk or use milk with a bit of mayo, plain yogurt or sour cream thrown in to thicken it just a bit, and add a teaspoon or so of vinegar if you have it on hand.
- 1 tb Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp paprika – this is regular old paprika, not the smoked kind
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces each
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs – or use homemade, toasted Bread Crumbs
- 3 tbs oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cooking Spray
Whisk together the buttermilk (or substitute), mustard, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cayenne in a bowl. Place chicken breasts in a Ziploc, add the buttermilk mixture, and squish it around a bit to coat the chicken. Refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position.
Pulse half of the panko bread crumbs in a blender until fine. Mix them with the remaining panko bread crumbs, the canola oil, and salt and pepper to taste. If you use regular bread crumbs, you don’t have to pulse. If you use Panko and don’t want to pull out the blender, throw the bread crumbs in a Ziploc or small bag and crunch them up with a rolling pin or the bottom of a pan.)
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top. Liberally spray the rack with nonstick baking spray. (You could omit the rack and just place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. The bottom will not be as crispy and a bit oily.)
Working with one breast at a time, remove chicken from the marinade and dredge in the crumb mixture. You’ll want to gently press the crumbs on, especially on the top where it shows. If it doesn’t seem to want to “stick” in an area, wet it just a hair with a little of the marinade and cover it with the bread crumbs. Place on rack. (I like to give the top of the chicken a quick spritz with the cooking spray at this point. I forgot to do so in the ones I photographed, and they didn’t brown quite as nicely as when I do this.)
Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breast registers 160 degrees, about 30 minutes. (I’ve never actually tested mine with a thermometer. If your breasts are around six ounces or so, they’re always perfect. If in doubt, just make a small nick in the thickest part of the breast and check one.)
If you have leftovers, let them cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, uncovered until they’re cold. After they are chilled, cover them. This helps to keep the crust from softening in the fridge.
Money & Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
How does this price compare to the store-bought frozen Chicken Nuggets we tried last week? If I were to figure this per pound as I did those nuggets for pricing, this would be $1.23 per pound. The Tyson nuggets at regular price of $6.99 for 29 ounces were $3.68 per pound. On sale, with a doubled coupon, I could get the same 29 ounce package for $3.99, or $2.22 a pound. Regardless, these TASTE so much better
- Chicken: I never buy full price chicken – it goes on sale too often. Some sales are better than others, but usually every few weeks it will drop to 99 cents a pound, and I stock up then. I portion it out into Ziploc bags, a breast per person for meals and freeze. If breasts are super large, I’ll trim them down to about six ounces and make tenders for the kids or use the bits for stir fry. Cost for 24 ounces is about $1.49. (By the way, I just use the same Ziploc I thawed the chicken in to marinade it….
- Buttermilk: I rarely have buttermilk on hand unless I’m planning to bake – but if I were to buy it for a recipe like this, I’d plan on making other items requiring it. It will store better in a jar than in the opened container, and does last for several weeks without going bad. It may need to be shaken together again if it sits in the fridge. For a recipe like this I often, as mentioned above, just use milk with a little mayo, sour cream or yogurt to add a little thickness and maybe a teaspoon of vinegar for a little tang. I just used milk here, so the cost is about 6 cents.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: I generally just use homemade, (which I keep in my freezer) but Panko is a larger, very crisp bread crumb and is quite a bit crisper than, say, Progresso. I do find coupons every now and then for Panko, and it does go on sale, quite often when other Asian items do – stock up on things like Soy, etc. after the US New Years when the Chinese New Year is coming up. My cost I always count as free, since I’d be throwing away old bread at my house if I didn’t come up with a use for it. If you’re going to “splurge” on a convenience item, bread crumbs are a cheap one to splurge on.
- Spices: These are basic spices that should be in everyone’s cupboard. I never count the cost of my spices – I just don’t have the mental acuity to figure it out, and the amounts are so small. You can’t go wrong with keeping any of the spices in this recipe on hand – all of these I buy in large quantities because I use them for things like rubs for ribs, steaks, pulled pork, chops and also for my own blends like Taco Seasoning. Buy your spices on sale or in the “bulk” aisle or even in the produce aisle in the bags. The common ones can often be bought very cheaply at the big box store in large plastic containers. Put what you’re going to use in little jars and store the rest in a cool, dark cupboard.
- Dijon: I always pick up a lot of Dijon (and all my other condiments) during the summer when condiments will reach their all time lows and coupons abound. We go through tons of Dijon because it’s called for in so many recipes and I’ll use it for vinaigrettes, marinades and things like cole slaw. If I can’t find a deal with a coupon, the store brands on sale are often a good value. (When I can’t get any more out of my container, I add a little red or white wine vinegar and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and shake it for a quick salad dressing in the jar.) Cost for a tablespoon – a guess- about 3 cents.
- Oil: You’ll hear me say it a million times – olive oil is my go to oil for almost everything. I try hard to avoid trans fats. Olive is more expensive than vegetable oil, but I use coupons and sales to bring my price down. Bobby Flay suggested Canola Oil, but Canola contains trans fat and olive oil doesn’t. Cost 24 cents.
- Cooking Spray: Yeah, it does have calories and some brands do have trans fat – they just make the “serving” size so small they don’t count it, but most people don’t use the one second spritz. Try to buy it during the Winter Holidays with coupons and on sale, or look for sales during the summer – it’s sometimes on sale because it’s a great grilling item. I generally buy it for no cost with a coupon, but regardless, buy it on sale. Cost for a few spritz? I’d have to say two cents? I was very excited a few years back to buy the little containers that allowed you to spritz olive oil (or any oil) but I found the oil quickly turned rancid and the device clogged up – a complete waste of $14.00….
Nutrition: (six ounce serving) 310 cal, 9g carbs, 38 g protein, 110 mg cholesterol, 13 g fat, 400 mg sodium
If you’re curious to how this stacks up to, say a Tyson’s chicken nugget, like the one I reviewed, if this chicken were divided up into the same weight, 2.75 ounces: calories would be 142; carbs 4; prot 17.41; chol 50mg; fat 5.95g; sod 183mg. No trans fat other than the miniscule amount of naturally occurring trans fat in the chicken.
Put Your own Spin on It:
I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to try this with a few finely chopped pecans or almonds next time I make it, and maybe even a few herbs mixed in the bread crumbs.
Recipe made June 2012