Sunday, August 9, 2009

Homemade Bread Crumbs and Ranch/Cesar Parmesan Chicken

On Saturday we went out for dinner for hubby's birthday celebration and since we ate out on Saturday we decided we wanted to chill out at home and work on the flooring or mow the lawn etc (We actually spend all day Saturday tiling the floor and we have almost half the living room done tiling now we need to grout and seal the tiles) on Sunday.

Anyway my initial plan for dinner was to make beer chicken on the grill since we have not tried this yet and we bought the rack to put the beer and the chicken a long time ago. It started raining on Sunday off and on and we decided that we should not grill out (We should not grill at at the beginning anyway since hubby is still a little sick). So I decided to bake the chicken instead (which is as bad as grilling therefore I made hubby drink extra glass of herb drink and eat water melon :P). Since it was a last minute change of plan on how to cook the chicken I needed some bread crumbs to bake my chicken and I only had a handful of Italian crumbs left thus I decided to make my own breadcrumbs. I rummage through my freezer and found some odds and ends bread and started making my breadcrumbs (I normally put my odds and ends bread in the freezer to make croutons or breadcrumbs).

Italian Breadcrumbs

1 cup plain bread
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1. Put bread int he food process and blend till fine, toss the rest of the ingredients to blend thoroughly.

2. Store in an airtight container and use in any recipe calling for Italian breadcrumbs.

After making my breadcrumbs which only took about 5 minutes; I proceeded to preparing my chicken. I had to cut up the chicken before I could start coating my chicken.

1 whole chicken
1 cup dry Italian/Original breadcrumbs (even better, use panko breadcrumbs)
1/4-1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup prepared ranch salad dressing or Cesar dressing (use bottled salad dressing, you might need a bit more dressing)
1/4 cup melted butter (no substitutes) *optional

1. Set oven to 400° degrees (set oven rack to lowest position).

2. Put a cooling rack on top of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

3. In a shallow bowl mix together the dry breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese, seasoned salt, black pepper, old bay seasoning and garlic powder.

4. Dip the chicken into the ranch dressing to coat both sides (allow any excess to drip off).

5. Coat in the breadcrumb mixture.

6. Place in a single layer onto the cooling rack.

7. Lightly drizzle the melted butter over each breast (for low-fat option omit the butter or use a diet alternative) * I skipped this part because I don't like my chicken to be oily*.

8. If desired you can sprinkle black pepper over the chicken pieces .

9. Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked).

Everyone loves this dish including me but I think is a little too salty for me(I've adjusted the salt on both the chicken recipe and breadcrumbs recipe to reduce the salt but if you like your food saltier you could increase the ratio of the salt a little). I normally try to cook with what ever I have at home when I'm lazy to go out and since I had very little Ranch dressing left in my house I decided to use some of the garlic Cesar dressing I had at home.

Even though hubby is not a fan of Ranch or the garlic Cesar dressing but he still gave thumbs up for this dish. Amount of breadcrumbs and ranch dressing needs to be adjusted depending on how much chicken you have.

We made some onions potatoes and some steam mixed vegetables as our side dish. We finished off dinner with hubby's birthday cake. Sometimes yummy meals don't really have to be really complicated to prepare :)

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