Do you often ponder what to cook for dinner that is quick, easy and taste great. Did you know that chicken is the go-to ingredient of weekday meals, as its easy to prepare, cooks fairly quick, and can either be very bland or take on many flavor profiles. Cooking chicken can be a newbies biggest nightmare or best friend, it all depends on the preparation. Your chicken will either be very moist and juicy or as dry as the Mojave desert, and flavorless.
As much as I prefer cooking from scratch, I also believe in simplicity especially for the working family. Working a forty hour a week job, plus kids and holding down the fort doesn’t always leave time for “cooking from scratch”. With so much controversy surrounding GMO’s and processed foods the last thing I want to do is whip up a quick dinner using ingredients that are flavorless, and processed with who knows what?
What to do?
For the newbie home cook this dish may seem challenging, but don’t panic. This recipe is so easy that you will be able to execute a weeknight dinner in about 30-45 minutes, using fresh ingredients, except for one. A dinner with lots of flavor that pairs well with a side dish of steamed veggies, a whole wheat pasta dressed with just olive oil, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. How about couscous or quinoa, brown rice or garden salad. Point is with this dish you won’t have to over think what to do for a side dish. as this pairs very well and a great go to dish during the chilly colder months a head.
The majority of ingredients for this dish are basic staple items you should already have in your pantry, and making bread crumbs is as easy as toasting a slice or two of your favorite bread, and then either grating it with a micro-plane or break up with your hands or food processor.
6-8 boneless, skin less chicken breast, thighs, or quarter pieces trimmed of skin and/or excess fat
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup ranch dressing; I use “Hidden Valley Ranch” that I make from a powder mix, mayonnaise and buttermilk.
3./4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper; optional
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Using a medium bowl and wire whisk mix together buttermilk and ranch dressing and set aside.
Trim chicken of all excess skin and/or fat and place in bowl of dressing mix.
Using another medium bowl mix all dry ingredients
Toast 2 slices of bread and then grate or grind it to a fine texture and add to bowl of cry ingredients.
Using your hand or tongs make sure all sides are evenly coated and place on greased baking stone or greased foil lined sheet tray.
(See chart below)
Place tray on center rack in oven and bake for 15 minutes
Than turn tray around, using tongs flip each piece of chicken over and bake another 15 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reads according to cut of poultry.
(see chart below)
Category Food Temperature (°F) Rest Time
Turkey, Chicken 165 None
Chicken & Turkey, whole 165 None
Poultry breasts, roasts 165 None
Poultry thighs, legs, wings 165 None
Remove from oven and allow to rest for five minutes and then serve.
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