My little one loves, loves chicken nuggets. Even though the Tyson nuggets I make for her are “natural” I still feel like they’re not much better than fast food. So, I decided to make my own and I found a recipe on epicurious.com for oven fried chicken that uses corn flakes for the crust. This recipe calls for chicken pieces, but I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I cut into tenders or fingers, three per breast. Below is the recipe as it appeared on the epicurious website, with my comments in italics.
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Rinse and pat dry:
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken parts (as mentioned, I used 4 chicken breasts that I cut into fingers.)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Whisk together in a shallow bowl:
- 2 large eggs (this made more than enough to dip my chicken pieces. Probably 1 egg and 1/8 cup milk would have been enough)
- 1/4 cup milk
Combine in a wide, shallow bowl:
- 2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes (so this was supposed to be enough for 3.5 lbs of chicken but this amount barely covered my 4 chicken breasts.)
- 2 teaspoons salt (this seemed like a lot of salt to me but since my food usually is on the bland side I decided to follow the recipe and it turns out this was waaaaaaaaay too much salt, especially as the chicken is also salted. I’d go with 1 tsp in the future)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (I also added some paprika powder after reading the comments on the webpage. I’d say you can add any kind of flavoring you like at this point)
- Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then coat with the corn flake mixture, patting with your fingers to make the crumbs adhere. The chicken can be prepared to this point up to 3 hours in advance and kept, uncovered, in the refrigerator. Arrange the chicken skin side up on the baking sheet.
- If you wish, drizzle over the chicken:2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter (I did not do this, after all the point of oven fried chicken is to cut down on the fat)
- Bake until the chicken is crisp and golden, 45 to 60 minutes. (My chicken tenders took 30 minutes to cook)
- Serve immediately or at room temperature. (When the chicken was fresh out of the oven, the breading tended to slide off when cutting into the meat. Once it had cooled a little, the breading adhered better.)
Now, overall this was a good recipe, aside from the saltiness. This was definitely easy to make and I love that it required very few ingredients (and nothing special, like panko bread crumbs). The chicken came out nice a crispy on top, however the bottoms were a bit moist. My solution was to flip them over and leave them in the hot oven (which was turned off) while I quickly sautéed up some green beans and nuked some frozen corn. This crisped up the chicken pieces but they also continued to cook so the tenders turned out a little drier than when I tested them at half an hour. I think a solution to this would be to either place the chicken on a rack to cook so any moisture drips onto the sheet pan, or to flip the chicken half way through cooking. Given the craziness in our household with a toddler and a baby, remembering to flip something half way through cooking is not a feasible option, so I’ll have to try the rack option.
These tenders were a hit with Little Missy and given their ease of preparation, with a few tweaks they will definitely make it into regular rotation. For those of you who may be wondering whether corn flakes can really taste that good as a breading, they actually did not resemble your breakfast cereal at all (just don’t go using frosted flakes). In terms of crispiness, the tenders were not all that different from a certain finger lickin’ good crispy chicken. Um, not that I would know, because I wouldn’t eat such unhealthy things (wink wink).
Oh, I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention this. Little Missy ate all her vegetables too! Wahoo!