Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken

So my husband and I had this conversation the other day.  It went something like this:

Hubby:  "When you buy chicken could you buy thighs or legs or wings, something besides boneless, skinless chicken breasts?"

Me: "Why?  I like the boneless, skinless kind."

Hubby: "Because it tastes so much better and the meat is much juicier."

Me: "I know you're right but I can't hardly bring myself to eat that kind."

And on the conversation goes.

Now, before you think I'm going vegetarian on you it's just that I have a thing with chicken.  I love how it tastes, as long as it doesn't taste "too real".  My husband just laughs when I say that but it's true.  The boneless, skinless variety works out great but give me any kind of dark meat and I can't do it!

I don't have this problem with beef, it's only with chicken.

Maybe it's because growing up my job was taking care of our chickens.  I had to do everything from cleaning out the coup, feeding and watering them, collecting the eggs, making sure they didn't get too hot, and pretty much everything else it takes.  

The only job I didn't have was throwing away the dead ones.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  

Especially as they got to be about 10 pounds each.  My older brother would do it and he loved to traumatize me with them (ie throwing them at me, chasing me with them, pretty much everything older brothers do).

Maybe that's why I can only eat the boneless, skinless variety?  

What do you think?  Hopefully I didn't traumatize all of you and make the chicken market crash!

I promise I still do eat chicken, it's just certain recipes like this one.  This was delicious.  We all loved it--even my dark meat husband.  The flavor is wonderful and the outside is perfectly crispy--yummy!

As a side note, just a picture because she is so cute! My daughter who just had her birthday walking her beloved dogs.  So fun!!

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken

1 stick butter
3 garlic cloves, finely minced 
2 thick slices whole wheat bread, about 2 cups
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, fresh is best
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with aluminum foil and coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Combine butter and garlic in an 8- or 10-inch skillet. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted. Pour the butter/garlic mixture into a shallow pie plate and cool to room temperature.

2.  In the bowl of a food processor, tear the bread into large chunks, and pulse until the bread is ground into crumbs. Pour the bread crumbs into a shallow pie plate and toss with the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

3.  Dip each chicken breast in the melted, cooled garlic butter then in the bread crumb mixture and turn until all sides are coated. Arrange the chicken in one flat layer in the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle any of the remaining melted butter over the chicken. Bake the chicken until it is lightly browned and just cooked through, 40-50 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness and size of the chicken you are using. Don’t overcook or the chicken will be dry.  Enjoy!

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