Sunday, January 4, 2009

Recession Chicken

I am very suspicious when I see recipes with very few ingredients, but I assure you - this is as cheap and as easy and as delicious as I say it is - cross my heart. Of course - you can't over bake the chicken - or it will be stringy and dry and I can't be held responsible for that, my love.

Finally, I know it's an old adage, but as this recipe proves, some of the best things come from being forced to cut down and improvise. Though if you compare me to Sandra Lee I'll shoot you dead.

Recession Chicken (Crispy Parmesan Baked Chicken)

1 cup Pepperidge Farm Seasoned Croutons
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper
2 generous tablespoons olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (pounded out a little if ridiculously thick - no more than 1/2 an inch at their widest)

Preheat your oven to 350.

Meanwhile, place the croutons in a large ziplock bag, seal it, and bash them with either the flat side of a mallet, a frying pan or the bottom of a heavy can (i.e. a can of tomatoes or beans.) You don't want to make a crouton powder - you just want to make crouton crumbs, breaking them up a little. Add your parmesan to the bag and give a good shake to combine.

Grease a baking sheet with a rack on it (you could make your own by placing a cooling rack on a baking sheet) and grease well with nonstick spray. (A good tip is to line the bottom with aluminum foil, so you only have the rack to clean afterwards.)

Place your chicken breasts on the rack a few inches apart and season with salt and pepper. Carefully sprinkle over the crouton/Parmsan mixture, distributing it as evenly as possible covering the entire surface of both breasts.

Drizzle evenly with the olive oil (a tablespoon per breast - maybe a hair more if your chicken is really big.)

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until tops are golden brown and chicken is cooked through (my chickens were really big and this was the perfect amount of time - if yours are small, I'd check them at 18-20 minutes.)

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