Monday, March 7, 2016

Cheez-It Chicken Recipe

Everyone loves Cheez-It's! Many people have it on their weekly shopping list, and who can blame them?! But have you ever though about breading some chicken with it? All my years of eating Cheez-It's... and I never even gave it a thought. But then Mr. C had a dream that I made him some chicken breaded in Cheez-It's. And I thought "Holy COW that sounds delicious!!" So, of course, I immediately consult my Pinterest App to look for recipes. (Pinterest is like my Google, I always look there first!)

The first recipe I find is a simple one: dunk chicken in flour, then egg, then crushed Cheez-It's, and bake. Well apparently I didn't crush up the crackers well enough and there were big chunks on the chicken pieces. While it tasted okay, the chicken wasn't fully coated and there were gaps where chicken was really showing through. In my opinion, a good breading needs to cover ALL the chicken, no holes please!

As usual, I decided to try and do my own thing. Let me tell you, Mr. C loved my new Cheez-It Chicken recipe and was SO PUMPED to eat his leftovers the next day for lunch! Instead of just the crackers, I used a mixture of breadcrumbs, Ritz Crackers, and Cheez-It's. And instead of baking it in the oven, I decided it would taste better fried in some vegetable oil..makes it nice and crispy. Plus, who doesn't love them some good ole' fried chicken??

So listen, the first time I made this, I used whole chicken breast marinaded in a soy sauce / honey / ginger mixture. It made the chicken a little salty, but gave it an interesting flavor that Mr. C loved. While I won't include this part in the official recipe, it's certainly a way to change up the flavors. So experiment with different marinades and see what you like! Italian dressing, teriyaki sauce, cajun rubs, all of the above!

Without further ado, here is my Cheez-It Chicken recipe.

Serves 5-6
Time: 10-15 prep + 15-20 cook time

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened to about 1/2 inch thick, then cut in half.
1/2 to 3/4 of a sleeve of Ritz Garden Vegetable crackers (or other flavor of your choice)
3/4 cup garlic & herb breadcrumbs
2 cups Four Cheese Cheez-It crackers (or other flavor of your choice)
4 large brown eggs
Vegetable Oil, enough to have 1/2 inch in a large skillet
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper

1. Combine Ritz crackers and Cheez-It crackers in a food processor and blend until fine, no big chunks. Alternatively, seal crackers in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.

2. Combine cracker mix and breadcrumbs in a bowl or pie plate.

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Sprinkle in salt & pepper and mix well.

4. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium to high heat until shimmery, about 5 minutes.

5. Heat oven to WARM, and line a cookie sheet with a few layers of paper towel.

1. Taking your flattened chicken piece, dunk in egg to coat, then in the cracker mixture to coat completely. Place carefully in heated oil.

2. Cook chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side, using tongs to handle.

3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 until all chicken is coated and cooked. Discard extra egg and cracker mixture.

4. As your chicken is finished cooking, place on top of paper towel and in the oven to keep warm until ready to eat.

Serve, and enjoy!!