Beaten eggs make breadcrumbs stick to a tender piece of chicken, but other tasty ingredients can be used in place of egg. Olive oil and butter are two ingredients that will hold the crumbs in place and add another level of flavour to the dish. Other oils with neutral flavours are used to bread the chicken but do not interfere with the taste.
Tenderise the chicken. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken flat. This will loosen the muscle fibres of the meat and allow the oil to be absorbed.
Pour olive oil into a shallow dish. Pour breadcrumbs into a separate dish. Add spices such as garlic powder, salt, pepper and herbs to the breadcrumbs for an added kick. Oregano and thyme are two herbs that pair well with olive oil's rich taste.
Bath the chicken in the olive oil. Flip the chicken piece and cover both sides with olive oil. Repeat this step two or three times to ensure the chicken is completely covered in oil.
Lay the chicken in the breadcrumbs. Press the chicken into the breading then flip the piece and cover the other side. Coat each piece of chicken completely. Use your hands to press extra breading into the chicken; this is where the tenderising will do its work. Eggs harden as they cook; this is what gives the breaded chicken its crispy covering. Olive oil, though viscous, remains liquid as it cooks. Pressing the breadcrumbs into the oily chicken will ensure a good amount of crumbs are stuck to the surface of the meat and stay there while the meat cooks.
Place the chicken into a non-stick or greased casserole dish. Bake at 176 degrees Cor about 40 minutes.
Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the bowl on high for about 45 seconds or until the butter is completely melted. Be careful removing the butter from the microwave as the bowl will be hot. You may also melt the butter on your hob. Turn the stove on high heat. Place the butter in a sauce pan and heat until melted.
Pour the butter into a shallow dish. Immediately dredge the tenderised chicken in the butter. The butter will congeal as it cools making it difficult to dredge the chicken if too much time elapses.
Use tongs to flip the chicken in the butter and breading. Hot butter has the potential to burn; using tongs will protect your hands.
Place the chicken in a casserole dish for baking or a frying pan. Frying the chicken will give the breading a browned crust. Baking tends to preserve the juicy quality of the chicken.
- Try using sunflower seed or canola to bread the chicken. Sunflower seed oil will add a nutty flavour and a healthy dose of Vitamin E. Canola oil, or rapeseed oil, has a neutral flavour.