Friday, January 7, 2011

Tortilla Chip-Crusted Chicken


Here's a quick and easy recipe from Southern Living magazine with a few adjustments of my own; it is a nice alternative to your weeknight chicken dinner. This crispy chicken needs a wet element to serve it with; Southern Living serves it with Pineapple-Kiwi Salsa; in my family we prefer a generous amount of store-bought picante sauce instead.

This would also be a good option to serve at your cocktail parties as a warm appetizer with the same picante sauce on the side to dip it in; just use chicken tenders, or chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces.


Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 4 chicken breasts or 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups tortilla chips, crushed (Recommended brand: Mission)
  • Picante sauce, for serving (Recommended brand: Pace) 

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray it with no-stick cooking spray, or brush with some vegetable oil.
  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Stir together flour, oregano, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder on a plate. Beat eggs in a shallow container until just foamy. Put the crushed tortilla chips on a plate. Build an assembly line on the counter: 1) Flour mixture, 2) Eggs, 3) Tortilla chips.
  • Dredge chicken first in flour mixture, shake off excess; then dip in egg mixture; then dredge in crushed tortilla chips; try to make sure that both sides of the chicken pieces are coated with chips as evenly as possible. Arrange chicken on the baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, turning once after 12 minutes. Serve with picante sauce.


Additional points:

  • To crush the tortilla chips, put them in a plastic (Ziploc) bag and crush them with your hands or with a meat pounder or a rolling pin. Do not crush them into tiny pieces; you need the chips to remain as flakes.
  • If you want to use fresh garlic i/o garlic powder, mince 2 cloves of garlic and stir it into the eggs.

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