Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crispy Chicken

When I want to make a special dinner for Jimmy, it usually involves fried chicken of some form or another.

Sometimes I cheat and make oven 'fried'.

There are many ways to do oven baked, breaded, crispy chicken. I'm sure you have your own way of making it.

Cooks Illustrated created this recipe for pork chops and has you dredging in flour, dipping into a mustard egg and then into a herbed breadcrumb.

I decided to try this with chicken thighs.

It turned out beautifully served with some sweet potato fries and even cut up cold for a sandwich next day.

Crunchy Baked Chicken Thighs
(found at

Table salt
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 slices hearty rye, wheat or white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons) or a dash of onion powder
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350*.

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer crumbs to rimmed baking sheet and add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss until crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Bake until deep golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. (Do not turn off oven.) Cool to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme, and parsley.

Place 1/4 cup flour in pie plate. In second pie plate, whisk egg whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth, with pea-sized lumps remaining.

Bring the oven temp up to 425 degrees. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place in rimmed baking sheet.

Season chicken with pepper. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat chicken with bread crumb mixture.

Transfer breaded chicken to wire rack. Repeat.

Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

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