Monday, May 31, 2010

Pizza Chicken

When this recipe came to my mom from one of her friends back in the 1970's, it was simply called "Baked Chicken". We eventually began calling it "Pizza Chicken" because that is exactly what it smells like when you come in after school and get a whiff of Mrs. Lenhart's Baked Chicken cooking in the oven.

This recipe is super-duper easy with only five ingredients. Today, for our Memorial Day cookout, we tried it on the grill which turned out to be very delicious. I think, however, that I personally prefer it baked in the oven, for several reasons. First, breaded items can be tricky on a grill because of having to flip the food. Second, the recipe says to bake at 375 degrees but we were having a good time trying to get the grill below 450 degrees. And third- you just don't get that good ol' Pizza Chicken smell by cooking outdoors on a grill. I suppose that means nostalgia wins. Yeah!

You need:

2 cups plain bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley
1 tsp salt
Oil or "oleo" (what a flashback!)
And chicken.

Oddly enough the recipe never mentions how much chicken you need. I used two breasts cut in half and cut the breading mix in half and still had plenty left over for the freeze. Awesome-- fast weeknight supper coming up! Thinking back, my mom probably used a package of the pre-cut chicken pieces to feed all six of us.

Mix all of the dried ingredients together to make a nice breading mix.

Pour a little bit of oil or the melted "oleo" (margarine, for all you young kids) onto a plate or shallow dish. By only pouring out a bit at a time, you don't risk ending up with a big plate of oil that you can't use. Dip the chicken in the oil so that both sides are coated. This helps the breading stick. Next, dredge the chicken in the breading mix, again on both sides.

Bake on a cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes. For the grill version, we coated our aluminum foil with cooking spray but the breading still tended to come off.

Here we are with our chicken ready to go on the grill with some hot dogs.

You can see that the breading made a nice crust- on the foil.

But let's be honest, how good are those almost burnt crusty pieces that you pick off the foil? Come on, you know what I'm talking about.

I'm sorry that I don't have a nice photo of the finished meal, all dished up and steamy and ready to eat. We were just too hungry to stop and take pictures. Trust me, it was a pretty good cookout.

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