Monday, April 11, 2011

Baked Crispy Romano Herb Chicken

Call it inspiration or a spur of the moment idea, I think it is the latter, I created this dish by chance. I had some chicken defrosting in the brine and was thinking of doing something elaborate with it. Somehow, I received a call in the afternoon, ran out and did not return home till 4:15pm. Dinner has to be ready by 5.30pm, we eat early, the best way is to make use of whatever I have on hand in the cabinet.

The first thing I reached for was panko bread crumbs, which is good. Some herbs, parsley and oregano sounds good. Black pepper, of course. Don't feel like using salt since the brine which the chicken was steeped in has salt already. Romano cheese then for a light salty and nutty bite on the crust.

I had the whole meal prepared within 45 mins. Everyone in the family loves it. The chicken was moist and flavorful, thanks to the brine, while the crust gives it a nice crunch. Another easy tasty meal.

Baked Crispy Romano Herb Chicken
3lb chicken, boneless chicken breast or bone-in thigh or leg
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
salt and pepper
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

For the brine
1 gallon iced cold water
4 Tbsp sea salt
4 Tbsp brown sugar


Step 1: Prepare the brine by combining the sea salt, brown sugar and water in a large bowl. Place chicken into brine and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Step 2: Combine panko bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, black pepper and Romano cheese in a pan. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat an egg with a dash of salt and pepper for egg wash. Set aside.

Step 4: Remove chicken from brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Dip chicken in egg wash.

Step 5: Coat chicken pieces in panko breadcrumbs.

Step 6: Place chicken pieces on a plate and continue working with the rest of the chicken pieces till done.

Step 7: Let chicken pieces sit for a good 10 minutes in order for the breadcrumbs to adhere better. Preheat the oven to 375F or 196C. At the same time, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat with the 1/4 cup of oil.

Step 8: When oil is hot enough for pan frying, about 350F or 176C, pan fry the chicken pieces till the crust is golden brown.

Step 9: Place the chicken onto the wire rack on an aluminum foil layered baking sheet. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes till chicken is completely cooked. At the last 5 minutes, turn on the convection or speed bake function in your oven. This will help to crisp up the panko crust.

Serve chicken with pasta and vegetable or rice or potatoes.

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