Monday, February 28, 2011

Crispy Cheese Chicken

This really isn't going to be a daily blog. Really it isn't. I already have two of those. :) But at the same time, this recipe is fresh on my mind since we had it for dinner, so I might as well write this now. Then I will probably take a day off since Tuesday night is "On Your Own" night anyway. :)

This recipe is Crispy Cheese Chicken. I got this recipe from a neighbor who served it at a Bible Study a few years ago. She said she got it from an Oprah episode. No matter where it came from, it is in our recipe repertoire. It is fairly easy, can be made ahead of time, and the kids (and hubby) give it a thumbs up.

For Crispy Cheese Chicken, you need...chicken. The recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts. Obviously for my family of six, that won't work. That and I don't typically use chicken breasts. I use tenderloins. They seem to cook a little faster and more thoroughly to me. That and a bag of tenderloins goes further with us than a bag of chicken breasts. For this recipe, I used 12 tenderloins.

If you have them frozen (like I do since those frozen bags are much more economical than fresh which I typically only serve for dinner guests), defrost them and rinse them off.

While they are defrosting (I did mine in the microwave), you can get the other ingredients ready. And preheat the oven to 375.

Mix 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 3/4 cup mayonnaise. Stir well until blended. I put mine in this bowl/plate combo dish I have. (Like a flat bowl) This amount was just fine for my 12 tenderloins. Sidenote: tonight I realized my lemon juice expiration date was past. I googled to see if it was okay. The jury was out. I decided to go without. I really couldn't tell the difference.

In another bowl or bowl/plate, pour shredded cheese. I use sharp cheddar because that is one of my favorites. I also use the 2 percent to make it a little lighter. It took the whole package (7 ounces I think) for this batch.

And finally in a third bowl/plate, pour crushed corn flakes. We use Kellog's because that is hubby's favorite to eat for breakfast. I also throw in a little parsley just for a little extra flavor. I just put them in a ziplock then crushed the bag with my hands; it is a great way to work off any frustration. If you have kids, this is a great way to get them involved. Let them help crush the flakes with a roller or their hands. Afterward, just pour them in the bowl. I just pour some, then if I run out, I add some more. It doesn't take long.

I line everything up on the counter like an assembly line.
Next, I use little tongs to hold and dip the chicken into the mayonnaise mixture, then dip it in the grated cheese, and finally press it in the corn flakes until coated on both sides. Then place it on a baking sheet. When I have finished filling up the baking sheet, I pour any extra crumbs over the top.

Next, bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
We usually have mashed potatoes and some kind of bread with this. A salad goes very do green beans.

Now, here is a little secret for anyone who takes the time to cook this. Don't let your family in on it. When they have finished the chicken, pretend like you are going to do the dishes. After the family disappears hearing that, take a few minutes to pull off any melted cheese/cornflake pieces that are stuck to the pan. Then eat them. They are my favorite part! Yum.

Oh, this is easy to make ahead, just prepare everything, cover it, then put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook. During Teacher Appreciation Week, one thing I like to do is give the teachers a few options of meals. Once they have selected one, I bring the meal to school for them to take home and cook. This is always on the menu. It is easy to have ready for the oven.

It is that simple. :)

Happy cooking!

PS Note that I have added a couple of other "food" blogs on the sidebar that are fun to visit. Of course, the Pioneer Woman is a mom/wife/cooking guru. And the other is a mom with three boys at home (two via adoption) who just started blogging about the cooking experiences they have together. She is a LOT of fun to read, food related or not.

PSS If you have a "Google" account, you can "follow" this blog to be alerted when something new is posted. That is how I can keep up with the several blogs that I read, especially for those who don't post regularly. I don't post follower names on the blog.

PSSS I love Carolynn's idea of guest blogging. I would love to do that some time!

And finally PSSSS, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions or know an easier way to do something! I welcome suggestions.

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