Crispy Chicken, Yum Yum Yum
My mother is practically an Iron Chef. That woman can take an average weeknight and turn it into a dining experience unlike any other, whether the recipe is a new experiment or an old standby.
Growing up, one of my favorite dinners was a “crispy chicken.” It was a dish my sister and I requested, no matter the season. Comforting and shockingly simple, crispy chicken sticks to your ribs and screams “you’re home!” It was also a dish my dad loved, so if he was up for dinner duty, it was not overly difficult to convince him that it was the only suitable dinner option.
Crispy chicken, while vague in its name, is a dish that is easy to understand. That’s because we’re talking butter and spices, folks. Rice cereal. Ingredients that have already crept their way into your pantry and are begging to be put to good use.
Thank heavens, Momma Moe heard their desperate plea.
Here’s what you need for an easy meal that will please everyone who sits at your dinner table. Get excited folks, get excited.
2 1/2 cups of rice cereal
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
See?! Look at all that stuff you already have! Oh? You’re missing something? I’m better it’s the poultry seasoning — that’s what I didn’t have either. That’s ok though, I didn’t have it either and it worked out fine. I compensated by adding a little more thyme (that’s the real superstar) and salt and pepper.
Also, I feel the need to tell you that Rice Crispies are not the only rice cereal that will do. I went to Trader Joe’s (shocking, I know) and browsed their extensive cereal aisle for a rice cereal that did an excellent job.
Ok, get ready for your new favorite chicken dinner.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, sift your cereal, flour, salt, thyme, and poultry seasoning.
Put your butter in a separate bowl. Make it melty.
Take your chicken breasts and lather them up in the butter bowl. Do this one breast at a time — no crowding the pool. After a breast has been coated with butter (yum yum yum), give it a dunk in the cereal/flour/seasonings bowl.
After a breast has been properly bathed in both bowls, place it in a baking pan. Or a casserole dish. Or whatever vessel you deem most appropriate for the occasion. (But really, use a baking pan or a casserole dish.)
After you’re done dunking chicken breasts, you will have leftovers in both bowls. That’s fine — dump them in the baking pan! These remains will become the extra “crispies” your family will battle for.
Pop your baking pan in the oven — depending on the size of your chicken breasts, it should take 30 - 40 minutes.
Please make sure to check your chicken before you take it out — bigger breasts will take longer, it’s just science. Cut the largest breast down the middle to make sure it’s done. There will be no poisoning tonight!
If your chicken is taking a longer time to cook and you’re worried about your topping getting burnt, cover your pan with aluminum foil. This way you don’t die via uncooked chicken and your topping remains in tip top condition.
That’s it, friends! That’s crispy chicken! Serve this up with mashed potatoes and green beans and YEEEEEEEE-DOGGY you’ll have a good time.
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