Welcome to my childhood!
My mum’s been serving this chicken recipe for as long as I can remember. It’s soft, tender, garlicky perfection, best served with crispy jacket potatoes, freshly dressed salad, and a nice crisp glass of cold white wine. (And preferably some sunshine, but it’s currently hailing in London as I write this so I’ll take what I can get…)
I’ve been missing home a lot recently. My last trip home was at Christmas and, because I accidentally used up all my 2017 leave from work, I have no idea when I’ll be able to go back again.
Usually it doesn’t bother me that much, because I tend to see my parents and siblings at family functions in the UK anyway. But for some reason this year it’s hitting me pretty hard.
So last week, in a fit of homesickness, I whipped up a batch of Mama’s Baked Garlic Breaded Chicken to make me feel better.
I’m not sure if it’s exactly the same recipe she uses, but it tastes pretty much identical, and I promise it is YUM!
I can totally see why this was a favourite for Mama to make when she had three little children to look after, because it’s SO SIMPLE. It’s literally as easy as dunking the chicken in three bowls of stuff, then shoving it in the oven until it’s golden.
It’s perfect for weekday dinners, when you want something quick but comforting but healthy(ish).
The technique of dunking the chicken in egg and breadcrumbs is officially called dredging. You dip the chicken in seasoned flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs, and you get this lovely crisp, crumby coating that goes all golden and delicious once it’s baked.
If you have to skip a step, skip the flour. It really only helps the egg cling a bit better anyway, so it’s not the end of the world if you miss it out. (The batch of chicken in these pictures actually doesn’t have any flour in it because I’d run out, so you know it works!)
We usually serve these individually, with jacket potatoes and salad, but I think it would actually also make a great sharing platter. Just slice the chicken breast into strips before you dredge it, then serve with a spicy tomato sauce, or some garlicky mayo. A perfect summery picnic snack!
4 chicken breasts
4 tbsp stale breadcrumbs
4 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Heat your oven to 190 degrees (Celcius/fan assisted).
2. Drizzle the olive oil on the inside of a baking dish. Use your fingers to rub it around a bit. This will stop the chicken from sticking to the bottom. Otherwise, you can use a baking tray, and just line it with tin foil.
3. Put the flour into a shallow bowl, add a generous pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper, then mix with a fork. In a second bowl: crack the egg, add another pinch of salt, then whisk with a fork until it’s blended. In a third bowl: pour in the breadcrumbs, garlic granules, parsley and a few twists of black pepper, then mix with a(nother) fork, so everything’s combined.
4. One by one, dip the chicken breasts in the flour. Make sure every side is coated, then dip it in the egg mixture. Finally, roll the eggy chicken in the breadcrumb bowl until every edge is coated.
5. Place the chicken in the greased baking dish, and pop it in the oven for 30-35 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through the cooking time, so that both sides cook evenly.
6. Serve with salad, baked potatoes, and a crisp glass of white wine!