I had looked over this recipe on Mel's Kitchen Cafe months ago and passed it up because it just looked ordinary. But, last night I was desperate for something new for dinner and came across this again. And, I'm so glad I didn't pass it up again, because we LOVED it. Christian could not stop raving. I loved it for it's simplicity (I had all the ingredients on hand!). But, it's texture of flavor from the butter to the garlic to the bread crumbs and Parmesan, made it a definite winner in my book. This is definitely going to be making many more appearances at our dinner table.
Crispy Oven-Baked Chicken
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
*Note: If you don’t have a food processor to make fresh bread crumbs, you can try using a blender and pulsing the crumbs or try using panko bread crumbs (usually found in the Asian foods aisle). If you are using a food processor, you can also add the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the bread crumbs and pulse to combine to create an even finer crumb.
4 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 thick slices whole wheat bread (for about 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet 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 or similar dish and cool to room temperature. Pound the 4 chicken pieces with a meat tenderizer until they are about 1/4-inch thick.
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 or shallow bowl and toss with the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
Dip each chicken breast in the melted, cooled garlic butter. Transfer to the bread crumb mixture and turn until coated on all sides. Arrange the chicken in one flat layer on 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.