There is absolutely nothing innovative about this particular dish. Alton Brown has done it. So has Rachael Ray and Hungry Girl. I’ve tried it with a number of different ingredients playing the part of the crust, but today’s version was born of desperation. What could I use for baked chicken if we were out of cereal and panko bread crumbs?
Wasa crackers. These things are great. Heartier than melba toast, significantly fewer calories and lower sodium than any other true cracker on the market. A serving of two large pieces is just 60 calories and goes quite well with a half cup of cottage cheese. Turns out wasas are perfect for baked chicken crust as well.
Basic set up should be familiar: cut up chicken, egg whites (ahem. mine may have just a bit of yolk in them. oops), and crumby ingredient.
I use tongs for moving the chicken from bin to bin and the fork to sort of roll each piece around in the egg wash and then the crumbs. You can also use a big plastic bag for the crumbs but after much experimentation I think the extra effort/washing is worth it with the set up above. The bag method leaves too much opportunity for coming into actual physical contact with raw chicken, and this former vegetarian has to draw the line somewhere.
I always use foil for these, with a super light coating of cooking spray. It’s probably unnecessary but my distaste for kitchen cleanup is such that I don’t really care. They go into the oven for 12 minutes at 425 degrees. I’m sure if you actually looked up a real recipe those numbers would vary. Then I flip them one at a time with tongs (new ones! Not the raw chicken ones!!) and put them back in for 4 minutes. Tonight I added an additional three minutes on broil just to ensure they were pleasantly crispy.
Pleasantly crispy indeed! And the inside? Quite tender as well. Definitely a successful variation to the baked chicken+n where n=crumbly x and x=crackery, cerealy things. Dried breadish things. Why isn’t there a word for this category of food?
The finishing touch was a stroke of genius that I can’t take credit for: a garnish of beet horseradish. Not horseradish sauce – real, actual B&L horseradish. A staple of seder tables everywhere. Probably optional unless you can eat it by the jarful. Which I can.
Add some green beans and corn and I’d call that a pretty stellar dinner. But don’t take my word for it.
Nutritional information for 4 ounces baked chicken with Wasa bread crumbs, approximate: 219 calories, 4.1 grams fat, 73.1mg cholesterol, 218.4mg sodium, 14.3 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 32.2 grams protein.