Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crispy Garlic Chicken

My mother was not the best of cooks when she was young and raising three kids. This is a woman who served pig hocks and sauerkraut every Wednesday night! And unlike today’s parents, if you didn’t like what was served for dinner you went without. But as we kids headed off to discover life she had more time and became interested in cooking, squeezing fresh orange juice every day, making mayonnaise from scratch and conjuring up new recipes. This crispy, garlicky chicken she created is reminiscent of oven-baked fried chicken recipes, but with the added punch of garlic. Serve the chicken with a salad of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and your favorite BBQ sauce and you have an easy, tasty weeknight meal.
Crispy Garlic Chicken

Serves 4
4 chicken breasts (boneless or bone-in)
2 cups dry breadcrumbs (or panko crumbs)
2-4 large garlic cloves, crushed through a garlic press
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine
½ tsp. salt and pepper
1 cup light sour cream
1 ½ tbls. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. celery salt
3 dashes hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
If you are using boneless chicken, pound them to 1/2-inch thickness so they will cook evenly. Mix breadcrumbs with crushed garlic, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper thoroughly in a pie tin. In a separate glass dish, mix together the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt and hot pepper sauce. Dip each piece of chicken in the sour cream mixture and then dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture until completely coated. Place chicken breasts on a baking pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Cook for 25-45 minutes (depending on if you are using boneless or bone-in chicken) until golden brown.

Vampires Beware!

Tips and Tidbits
Try this recipe with 2 cloves of garlic first and then up the amount to suit your taste (and tolerance) for fresh garlic.
If you don’t have non-stick foil, spray the foil with Pam or other spray oil.
If you want to reduce the calories, use non-fat sour cream and eliminate the Parmesan cheese. Also, if you're trying to calculate the calories, you end up using about half the breadcrumbs because you need enough volume to dredge the chicken breasts easily.

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