This chicken recipe was something of a revelation to me.
Chicken that is crispy and tasty but NOT fried!
Panko bread crumbs provide that extra, satisfying crunch. Dijon mustard and white wine provide tons of extra flavor.
No frying. Just tender, moist, and delicious chicken from the oven.
It couldn’t be easier.
Here’s what you need:
Chicken, Panko Bread Crumbs, Fresh Thyme, Garlic, Lemon, Dijon Mustard, White Wine, Butter, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For ease, I’m making the crumbly panko topping in the food processor but don’t let the lack of a food processor stop you. You can always chop the garlic and thyme with a knife and stir all of the other ingredients together by hand.
Place 4 cloves of garlic and 1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme in a food processor. If your thyme is especially fresh and the stems are light and not woody, you can just toss about 10 sprigs in there whole. Or you can strip the tiny leaves off of the stems if they are bigger.
If you don’t have fresh thyme, I would skip it and NOT try to substitute dried as it is not the same light flavor as the fresh.
Give the food processor a whirl to chop up the garlic and thyme.
Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave, allow it to cool slightly, then add it to the food processor with 2 cups of Panko bread crumbs.
Panko are the Japanese style bread crumbs that are bigger and flakier than regular ground, dried bread crumbs. They have become so popular that you can find them in almost any store. If you don’t see them in the section with the regular bread crumbs, check the Asian section.
Use a microplane or other small grater to remove the outer yellow zest from 1 lemon.
Add the lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the food processor.
Put on the lid and pulse the food processor to combine.
You want the crumbs to be soft and slightly damp. If they are too dry, add 1 more Tablespoon of olive oil.
The other thing I love about this recipe is that it uses mustard in place of the standard egg wash for fried chicken.
In a shallow dish, whisk together 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard with 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
For chicken I have all dark meat (1 package of thighs and 1 package of legs – about 3 pounds) but you could use any cuts of chicken that you like. Sometimes the best value is to get the whole cut up fryer and keep the wings, neck, and back for making chicken stock. I plan on 2 smaller pieces of chicken (legs/thighs) or 1 chicken breast half per person.
Season your chicken with salt & pepper. You can see that like a weirdo, I’ve skinned part of my chicken. If you like chicken skin, leave it on. If you want it off (lower fat as a bonus), take it off. This recipe works fine either way.
Set up a little breading station with your chicken, mustard/wine mixture, and the seasoned buttery bread crumbs.
First dunk the chicken thoroughly in the mustard and gently shake to remove any excess.
Then put the meatiest side of the chicken down in the bread crumbs and gently press them into the chicken. Don’t worry if the crumbs tend to fall off a bit. We will fix that later.
You can bread both sides but keep track of the meatiest side and place that side facing up on a foil lined baking sheet.
Once you have dipped and breaded all of the chicken pieces, gently press the remaining bread crumbs onto the top of the chicken on the tray.
Bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 40 minutes then raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
Use a spatula to remove the chicken from the pan so you don’t disturb the crispy coating like I did with my tongs.
This can be served hot or cold and was great leftover. To keep the leftovers crisp, reheat in a low oven (200 degrees) rather than in the microwave.
Delicious, easy, healthy, and just in time for the holiday weekend!
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust