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Monday, August 01, 2011

Easy Breaded Pan-fried Chicken Breasts

So, what's special about chicken breasts, right? Marinate, then pan-cook or oven-bake or deep-fry, breaded or plain, serve with a salad and a possibly some sort of bread/starch and there you have it - a simple well-rounded delicious meal.

This recipe was inspired by a recent grocery shopping trip when I casually (and quickly) browse the packaging for meal ideas. Some old non-crispy crackers and unfrosted shredded wheat cereal came together for the breading.

The sauce is optional. Kids don't care for it. Just some rosemary and oregano leaves from the garden ground up with tomatoes, basil and garlic, cooked down to reduce a bit so the flavors meld.

And, the garden lettuce was ready to be harvested, with hopefully plenty more to come for the rest of the summer. We had gone berry-picking, our usual summer favorite. Marion berries are my favorite, next only to raspberries and blackberries. So I had picked some, while kids and D were picking blueberries and raspberries. The thorns are nasty so nobody else wanted to pick the Marion berries with me...

That's how this simple salad came about - just home garden lettuce with some ripe juicy Marion berries and almonds with a simple lemon juice and olive oil vinaigrette.

2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced up if too thick
1 cup unfrosted shredded wheat cereal
1 cup cheddar-flavored crackers
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
2 to 3 Tbsp Olive oil

marinade: red wine vinegar, soy sauce, Patak's™ Kashmiri masala paste(optional)

  1. Marinate the ½ inch thick chicken breasts in enough marinade for about 2 or 3 hrs. If making on a weekend, I marinate right after brunch/lunch to cook it for dinner (refrigerate on warm days)
  2. Grind the shredded wheat cereal and crackers to breadcrumbs texture, keep handy
  3. Heat the oil in a pan, coat each chicken breast piece with the breading mixture, arrange on the pan, allow to cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or so till the crust is formed
  4. Flip and cook the other side, adding more oil if needed
  5. Check to see that the chicken is cooked through (I am happy if internal temperature is 170°F off the pan)

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