There is nothing better than fried chicken. There, I said it. I’m a good old southern girl who probably should have been raised in the Louisiana bayous with the foods that I like best. That being said…it’s a royal pain the ass to haul down the fryer.
All the oil, and its not all that healthy…it’s a hot mess. A delicious hot mess, but a hot mess just the same. So, my solution was Shake and Bake. It’s baked so its a healthier option and there’s no fryer and oil and mess. However, I reeeeeeeeeally hate processed and packaged foods. I have no idea what kind of crap goes into shake and bake. So I endeavored to clone the recipe.
If you Google “DIY shake and bake” you’ll come up with a bunch of options, but I found that they were all the same. The basic recipe was:
4 cups breadcrumbs
1/3 cup olive oil
There was salt in the recipe and a bunch of other generic spices that didn’t really excite me. So what I did was improvise a bit,
I used 3 cups of regular breadcrumbs and 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs. I think next time I might even do a half and half split since the panko crumbs give it a little more crunch with a lighter texture. I used 1/3 of a cup of Bertoli’s delicate taste olive oil. It doesn’t have a heavy olive oil flavor, which made the flavor much lighter than with the store bought version.
Then-the piece de resistance! The spices. Here’s where you can go crazy! Use any spice you want! They have those spice mixes in all grocery stores now. I know Weber has a bunch of grilling spices that would probably be wonderful. However I used some spices mixed by my one of my favorite people from culinary school. My friend William brought me a shaker full of his custom mix and good lord it is the best mix I’ve ever tasted.
Anyways-now that I’m done salivating-I used this homemade Shake and Bake on some chicken breast pieces along with the brussel sprouts I featured last week. Those paired with some basmati rice was a perfect dinner. A few days later I used it to make some chicken nuggets for the boys. Ryan went insane over them!
One note. Don’t use the entire batch of the mix unless you have a crapload of chicken. Put a small amount into a different bag because if you use all if it on raw meat you have to throw away whatever’s left over.
The procedure for using the mix is:
1. Scramble an egg (or two, depending on how much meat you have) in a bowl.
2. Put however much of your homemade shake and bake you need into a gallon size bag.
3. Dip your meat into the egg (wow that sounds incredibly kinky!) and then put it in the bag.
5. Once it’s covered put the meat onto a baking sheet.
***I like to put a rack on my cookie sheet to catch drippings but to let the meat sit high enough to not get in hem.
6. Pop your baking sheet in the oven (preheated or not, doesn’t matter) and let it bake for however long it needs. Different meats of different thicknesses take different times to cook. So always make sure the inner temp of whatever you’re cooking reaches the proper temperature.
Once it’s done, pop it under the broiler for a minute on we each side to crisp it up.
Store the rest of your Shake and Bake in a Ziploc or glass jar. I stored it in the pantry because honestly it all got used within a few days. For longer storage I’d probably store it in the fridge.
And there you have it folks! Just another way to save on your grocery bill and be astounded with how delicious something turns out when you put your own spin on it!