Garlic Breaded Chicken just reading the words allows you to savor the smell and taste of this dish. As Rachel Ray would say YUM-O and what makes it even better is that it is easy and cooks relatively quickly
Chicken – you can use any part of the chicken that you want . My preference is bone in as the bones help to keep the chicken moist. You also can get rid of the skin it just adds calories and fat and this dish is delicious enough that you do not need the skin to add flavor or texture.
Buttermilk – get the lowfat kind – save yourself and others the calories and fat – once again not needed to make this dish delicious
Cajun Seasoning – there are a number of brands on the market – find the one that you like best – in all the basic ingredients will be cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, a little cinnamon, some dried garlic and onion and other selected spices – you can also make your own
Butter – I am a fan of organic and unsalted. Unsalted tends to be fresher and it allows you to control the sodium. Most cajun seasoning blends will have salt in the mix but you can make your own if you are watching your sodium intake
A loaf of roasted garlic bread – not straight garlic bread that you find in the freezer but fresh bread that has whole roasted cloves of garlic littered throughout the loaf
Additional garlic cloves
You will notice that there are no measurements given the reason for this is two fold. First and foremost is that you are the cook and the reality is that when you are cooking you make the decisions. Use a little more or a little less then traditional recipes call for- experiment. Cooking is creating so be creative. Secondly and almost as important is the amounts will change based on the number of servings you are making.
Take your chicken and put it in a large baking dish. Remember remove the skin ( you can buy the chicken with the skin on this will save you some money as there is a hefty surcharge added for others to remove the skin – it is easy to do – just rip it off)
Sprinkle your cajun seasoning all over the chicken – both sides.
Cover the chicken in buttermilk
Add a few cloves of chopped garlic
Mix it all up and put it in the refrigerator and let it sit for 60-90 minutes. Buttermilk has an enzyme that will break the chicken down so this is NOT a marinade that should sit for hours
After sitting for 60 – 90 minutes pull the chicken out of the refrigerator
TURN ON THE OVEN – 400 degrees – check it to make sure that there are no pots/pans/baking dishes that are hiding in there and will create smoke and set off your fire alarm
Get out a food processor – if you do not have a food processor you can do this by hand but it is MUCH easier with a processor.
Break of chunks of your roasted garlic bread and put them in the food processor. Yes you are making homemade bread crumbs. Try to get a uniform consistency.
Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large platter.
At this point your oven should be preheated. Put the baking pan you are going to use IN the oven – the best kind to use is a roasting pan – one with holes on top and a bottom – if you do not have one of these that is fine – you can use almost anything – a great alternative would be a cast iron skillet – with that said you can use a cookie sheet if that is all you have. Remember you are the cook and it is your kitchen.
It is now time to dredge the chicken.
Dredge each piece in your homemade breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs should stick because of the buttermilk. If they need a little help just press them into the chicken. Put the dredged chicken on another clean platter.
Once you have all of your chicken dredge bring it over next to the over.
Now melt some butter -around a half a teaspoon for each piece of chicken.
Pull the HOT pan out of the oven and place the chicken on the pan – your goal is to hear a sizzle when the chicken touches the hot surface. Space the chicken evenly and try to avoid having the pieces touch if possible – if they touch -that’s life they will shrink a little when they cook.
Once all of the chicken is placed pour some butter over each piece. This will make the chicken nice and crispy.
Stick it all back in the oven and check on in in thirty minutes. At the thirty minute mark you may want to drizzle some more butter over the chicken and test a piece to see how it is doing – remember that bone in chicken takes longer to cook the bone out. If you are cooking thighs and legs they should take about 45 minutes a breast will take closer to 60 minutes. Some of this will depend on how well your oven holds a temperature.
Once the chicken is done. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for AT LEAST five minutes. You want the juices to redistribute. After five minutes serve.
A great side this for this meal is sliced tomato’s. If you are serving this outside of tomato season use cherry or grape tomato’s they actually taste like tomato’s in the off season unlike the regular tomato’s you get at the market. Since the chicken is breaded you do not really need a starch so if tomato’s are not your thing try asparagus or a mixed green salad – really anything you want because YOU ARE THE COOK