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4boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/4 lb(1 stick) real butter (unsalted for low-sodium)
1 pkgsoda crackers, (unsalted for low-sodium)
1/4 tsppoultry seasoning (optional)
How to Make Crunchy Baked Chicken with low-sodium options.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- THE SHORT VERSION: Dip cold pieces of chicken in seasoned, melted butter. Roll tops and sides in cracker crumbs, bake at 375 until done.
- THE DETAILED VERSION WITH HELPFUL HINTS: Rinse chicken pieces in cold water and pat dry. If breasts are especially large, cut in half. Place them in a single layer in the freezer (on a cookie sheet or just waxed paper if you have a free shelf) while other ingredients are being prepared (about 10 minutes - long enough to chill well, but not freeze)
- Put 1 sleeve soda crackers in a gallon-size zip-top bag (leave the wax paper sleeve on so the crackers don't poke through in the next step - you might have to break a few so they fit in the bag).
- Smash crackers into smallish pieces with a meat mallet and/or rolling pin. Leave about half of them in pieces half the size of your fingernail or so - just don't turn them all into tiny crumbs or the chicken won't be as crunchy, but don't leave them all big or they won't cover the chicken as well. I suppose you could also pulse them a few times in a food processor instead, but I don't have one :)
- Melt the stick of butter until liquid, but not oily. Remove from heat, add poultry seasoning and mix well. If you prefer, you can add other seasonings like chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt-free seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder. . . get creative! (I like mine rather plain better, but then I use the regular saltines and salted butter too). Allow butter mixture to cool slightly, 3-5 minutes.
- Dip the cold pieces of chicken into the melted butter - if the chicken is very cold and the melted butter is cooled some but not too much, you will see a thick-ish glaze of butter form on the chicken. If the butter gets cold and globby, just heat it a little more, but not enough so that it doesn't stick to the chicken.
- Immediately roll the top and sides of each piece of chicken in cracker crumbs, pushing down slightly so the cracker pieces and crumbs stick well to the butter. (I generally don't put crumbs on the bottom of the pieces because they can get soggy there).
- Put chicken, cracker crumb side up, on foil-lined or non-stick baking sheet with space in-between each piece. (I like to use the NameBrand Release tin foil because it doesn't stick).
- Bake uncovered at 375 degrees on middle rack of oven (move up or down a level if they start browning too fast on one side, but don't turn them over) until a meat thermometer shows 165-170 degrees and juice runs clear (about 35-45 minutes for standard-size boneless breasts or 40-50 minutes for boneless thighs). ENJOY!