Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cheddar & Cracker Chicken

I have a deep love for cheese and crackers that having them on hand in my kitchen is a must! Even better is being able to bring the combination of delicious cheese and crispy crackers for a quick and easy dinner. When I skimmed through my most current Real Simple magazine the other day, I knew I had to make this Cheddar & Cracker Chicken recipe. I'm so glad I did because it was a total hit!...

Butter crackers is one type of cracker I have in my pantry... along with an assortment of various cheeses. This recipe pairs this classic snack as a rich, buttery crust for chicken with a nice hint of garlic. It couldn't be easier to whip this dish together. I did add some sliced scallions to the mix for a bit of color and a subtle onion flavor. It turned out wonderful and it was served alongside sour cream and chive smashed Yukon potatoes.

Cheddar & Cracker Chicken
recipe adapted from Real Simple

16 buttery crackers (such as Ritz), crushed (about 3⁄4 cup)
6 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1-2 stalks scallions, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Heat oven to 350° F.

In a bowl, combine the crackers, cheese, garlic, scallions and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Pound the chicken to about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thickness with a meat mallet. Dip the pounded chicken in the butter, then in the cracker mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle any remaining cracker mixture on the chicken and drizzle with any remaining butter. Bake until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

* To make ahead/freezer meal - Prepare the chicken as directed above. After coating it in the cracker mixture, place chicken in a gallon sized freezer bag, seal and freeze flat in your freezer. When ready to prepare, place on a baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake as directed above from frozen until cooked through, possibly 30-35 minutes depending on thickness.