As healthy as boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be, if you don't cook them right, they typically wind up dry, tasteless and boring. Breading plain chicken breasts with breadcrumbs gives them a satisfying crunch and allows you to impart more flavor by seasoning the egg wash, as well as the breadcrumbs. Whether you bake or saute, use traditional breadcrumbs or panko, breading definitely takes your chicken breasts up a notch.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pound the chicken breasts with the flat side of a meat mallet to a 1/4- to 1/3-inch thickness on a clean cutting board. You can also pound the chicken flat with a rolling pin if you don't have a mallet.
Fill a large, shallow bowl with flour and another with seasoned breadcrumbs. You can use traditional breadcrumbs or Japanese panko breadcrumbs, which tend to create a crispier, less greasy coating. You can buy either type of breadcrumbs pre-seasoned at a grocery store, or you can choose plain breadcrumbs and season them yourself with salt, pepper, herbs and spices.
Beat several eggs lightly in a third shallow bowl and season to taste. You can add mustard, hot sauce or mayonnaise to the egg wash, depending on your preference.
Dredge each chicken breast first in the flour, by immersing the chicken into the bowl of flour, making sure both sides are fully coated. Dredge the chicken into the egg wash next, then into the seasoned breadcrumbs. Turn the chicken over a few times in the breadcrumbs to get it fully coated.
Place the coated chicken breasts on a wire rack sitting on a baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil. Bake the chicken breasts in the oven for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of each one reads 165 F. As an alternative to baking, you can saute the chicken breasts. Heat a thin layer of butter or vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the breaded chicken and cook for about three to four minutes on each side, until the breading is golden brown and the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F.
Items you will need
- Meat mallet
- Cutting board
- Shallow bowls
- Wire rack
- Baking pan
- Aluminum foil
- Meat thermometer
- Add grated Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs for more flavor.
- Try using crushed cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs for even crunchier chicken breasts.
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