Years ago, my husband and I had made the conscious decision to get DSL rather than pay for cable service. So we sat, for hours on end, adjusting our antenna to make sure that the broadcast stations came through loud and clear. Then, years later, we realized we were doing well enough to afford cable (and a precious DVR).
Finally, I would have what I’d been longing for. The Food Network. (To imagine my excitement, you have to hear a heavenly choir of angels singing every time you say it- The Food Network)
In the years that have followed, it’s been the channel that I’d leave on when I needed background noise. I nursed my second child while watching. I assume this is why, at the age of nearly 2, he’ll sit on the floor and watch an entire show with me. Or why he loves to watch Ratatouille.
All of that said, I’m much more a fan of Ina Garten and Alton Brown than say… Paula Deen or Rachael Ray. While both have their merits, usually their shows are on as background noise. But this recipe caught my eye. Paula Deen’s oven fried chicken. Not because it’s simple (it is) or because I love dijon mustard (I do). But it’s an egg free recipe. Not only that, it’s one that you could easily make wheat-free as well. Definitely one to add to your dinner rotation (it’s been added to ours!)
Oven Fried Chicken
Source: Paula’s Best Dishes (Paula Deen)
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly minced thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 -inch thickness
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Spray cooling rack liberally with non-stick spray (you’ll be cooking the chicken on this).
Pound your chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. If you don’t have a meat mallet, use a pan that has a decent weight to it. (Note: I didn’t have full chicken breasts, but had tenders)
In a shallow dish, combine the dry ingredients for the crust – the panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, thyme, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Salt and pepper this mixture to taste.
In another dish, combine the wet ingredients. 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the dijon mustard and water. Also salt and pepper this to taste.
Coat each piece of chicken thoroughly with the mustard, then dredge into the bread crumbs. Place on wire rack and repeat until you’ve finished all the chicken.
Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is a golden brown.
This was a really fast recipe to assemble, and used ingredients that I always have on hand. My oldest son is nearly four and a picky eater, so I was worried that he wouldn’t want to try the chicken- but not only ate it, but proclaimed that it was yummy. He also was happy to see that we had leftovers, and happily ate it reheated. As I said earlier, it’s found a home in our dinner rotation.
On adapting it for allergies: My youngest had severe food allergies, so I plan on trying this with a crushed puffed rice cereal in place of the panko crumbs and a sheep’s milk cheese in place of the parmesan. The recipe itself is egg-free and can easily be made wheat-free or gluten-free by making substitutions for the panko.