There is an unimaginable number of recipe for breaded chicken out there. So why is this one different? The chicken is baked, not deep-fried making it healthy; tasty; easy to make; stacked with fresh herbs, brown bread and the coating keeps the chicken moist and tender. The quality of the chicken you buy also helps; I try to always use fresh, free range (and though not essential, organic) chicken pieces but you the best you can afford.
I have cooked this recipe for years and can vow that children love it. Vary the flavours by changing the herbs you use, and even the choice of bread used for the crumb. Fresh brown bread is the best but I also use any leftover breads, olive and herb flavoured Ciabatta or a sourdough works really well.
Another variation, very popular in this house is a pinch of curry powder or paprika to give an extra added bite to the crumb.
- 12 chicken thighs (free range, boneless)
- 1 2/4 cups/225 grams bread (use fresh brown bread or leftover breads)
- 1/4 white onion (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons fparsley (or your preferred fresh herbs; tarragon is lovely)
- 1/2 lemon (juiced)
- 1/3 cup/75 grams butter
- 1 cup flour (more or less, for dusting)
- 2 large eggs
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
Pull the skin from the chicken; it will pull away very quickly.
Tear the bread into small pieces and place in a food processor with the onion and your chosen herbs. Blitz briefly in the processor, do not over chop, you want the crumb to remain chunky. If you do not have a food processor, break the bread into pieces as small as possible and add the chopped onion and parsley.
Place the breadcrumb mixture in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the butter and pour over the breadcrumbs then add the lemon juice. Stir well but gently, to thoroughly coat the bread with the butter.
Place the flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Break the eggs into another bowl and beat lightly with a fork.
Roll a chicken piece in the flour. Tap it on the side of the bowl to remove any excess flour then immediately dip into the beaten egg. Finally, roll the chicken in the breadcrumbs. Using your hands, press the breadcrumbs firmly onto the chicken so it has a thick coating of bread. Place the coated chicken piece onto a lightly greased baking tray.
Repeat with all the chicken thighs then place onto the baking sheet with the chicken pieces into the fridge for one hour.
Cook in a preheated oven 200C/400F/ Gas 6 for 30 - 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown, crunchy and the chicken cooked right through.
Serve hot with coleslaw, seasonal veggies or even a salad. The chicken is also rather lovely cold which makes it perfect for lunch boxes, for picnics or the buffet table.
The breadcrumbs can be made in advance and frozen in plastic bags.