No, not southern-fried chicken, southern-baked chicken, but it’s almost as good.
A month or so ago, I bought a 4-pack of chicken loins, about a ½ inch thick, five in a pack, from Sam’s. Didn’t know what I’d do with them, but since they would thaw fairly quickly if I needed a last minute entrée, I popped them in the freezer.
I took the last package out last night and mulled over my choices,
I had a half-package of Ritz crackers left in the box and that motivated me to “fry” the chicken, or rather fry-bake the chicken. It turned out to be the best “imitation” fried chicken I’ve ever done. Here’s how I went about it.
In a Zip Loc, I crushed the Ritz crackers down to the size of Panko crumbs with a heavy coffee mug. That works well. In a shallow bowl, I put a half cup flour, sprinkled it with a little garlic powder, some salt and pepper and a whisper of cayenne for a little southern spice. I melted a half stick of butter in another bowl and was ready to rock and roll.
First, I dipped the chicken loins in the flour, then in the butter, then pressed down on both sides in the Ritz crumbs and placed each loin on a parchment covered sheet.
I put the chicken in a 400-oven for about 10 minutes, flipped them when they began to brown on the top and finished them in another 5 minutes. They were tender, juicy, crunchy and had a little kick – almost as good as real southern fried chicken, and a whole lot healthier.
Southern Baked Chicken (serves 2)
5 ½-inch thick chicken loins
½ C flour
S & P to taste
½ t garlic powder
½ t cayenne pepper
½ stick butter
1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers