I always find a good selection of cereal at my Grocery Outlet... and I've recently noticed them carrying nicer brands, too! I recently found this Bear River Valley Honey Nut Rounders bagged cereal at my South Tacoma Grocery Outlet store for just $1.99.
I decided it would be the perfect, simple ingredient to put a fun spin on a dinner classic: fried chicken
! I mean, talk about a quintessential summer picnic food right? I wondered if I could come up with a non-deep fried version that would still be moist and packed with flavor. I'm excited to tell you that I did! The other great thing about tonight's recipe is that you should likely have most of the ingredients on hand already - so it's a good one for the budget.
Crispy Oven Fried Chicken
For a PDF of this recipe, click here. Ingredients
- 1 package of fryer chicken pieces (~ 1-2 lbs; skin on or skinless)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup crushed honey-flavored cereal (or other cereal of your choice)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 2 eggs, whisked with a splash of milk
I started with a good quality package of chicken. Check it out - my Grocery Outlet store carried these organic, local drumsticks for just $3.27! Now you could go skinless, but I prefer skin once in awhile, so I left mine on. (I justified it by reminding myself I wouldn't be deep frying!)
Preheat your oven to 400°. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow cake pan or pie plate. Dip each chicken piece in the mixture, dust off any excess flour and set aside.
Now it's time to prepare the coating. You're going to start by taking your cereal and processing it down. Before we go on, I want to mention that you could really use any number of cereals you find at your Grocery Outlet store - feel free to experiment around! I like using a honey-based cereal for the sweetness, but you could also opt for something like corn flakes or a crispy rice cereal.
Don't worry if you don't have a food processor for this next part, either. I don't and I don't let it stop me! Ready to see my secret?
I just put it in a plastic bag and smash it with a rolling pin! A meat tenderizer also works well (just use the flat end). As you can see, I didn't entirely pulverize the cereal, but left some bigger pieces for texture. Do what you like.
Once your cereal is processed as you like, mix in 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and 1 tsp of poultry seasoning. Here too is some room for spicing things up. Feel free to add garlic powder, cayenne, or grill seasoning depending on your taste preferences. When you're done, put the mixture in a shallow plate or pie pan. In a separate pan, whisk a couple eggs with a splash of milk.
As you can see from the picture above, I like to create a clear assembly line for my chicken! It's going to go in the egg wash, then to the breading and finally onto a cookie sheet topped with a lightly sprayed rack for the oven.
I like my pieces really covered, so I make sure to take extra time to pat down the breading on any bare spots.
The secret to keeping the breading on the chicken? Use a rack! I also sprayed my chicken with cooking oil as well as spraying some on the rack. As you'll soon see from my final photos, I lost very little breading this way. (Plus, it makes for easy clean up.)
Give the chicken a turn at 20 minutes. Cook an additional 20 minutes or until no longer pink.
The result? Delicious! My chicken was very moist inside and full of flavor. The honey cereal added a subtle sweetness to the dish. This chicken was quick to assemble, easy on the budget, and most important, family-friendly.
You could serve it hot, as I did; or serve it chilled. As for the leftover cereal? Well, I'd say you got breakfast covered too! Like this post? You might want to read the others in this series:
Make sure to come back next month for another fun installment!
Angela Russell blogs at The Coupon Project, a site that encourages families to live well for less. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her firefighter husband and two small kids. In her spare time, she likes to read, garden, and has recently taken up canning.