Fried chicken is a staple of many meals such as Parmesans, casseroles, and just plain fried chicken! While deep-frying makes things simple for restaurants, most of us are stuck at home with a counter-top stove, an over, a pressure cooker or two and a microwave. Needless to say, we need all the help we can get!
How to Bread Chicken
First off, let’s all acknowledge how slimy chicken is. Any raw meat is going to be unpleasant to handle, but for some reason chicken seems to irk us the most. Perhaps it’s the associated fear with Salmonella—or maybe it’s just that it isn’t quite slimy enough to not stick to things, yet it’s slimy enough to slip from the pan. Either way, figuring out how to handle chicken well enough to apply breading without issue is a talent. To get a better idea of some shortcuts and best-practices, consider what Foodie Candace Davison had to say on the Delish website:
Breading Like a Boss
My chicken-breading “Aha!” moment came to me during a job interview a few years ago. Yes, a job interview—for a gig that had absolutely nothing to do with cooking. (It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that I did not get this job.) I’d applied to be the assistant to a literary editor, and I’d brushed up on the New York Times Bestseller list, crammed fiction trivia like I was prepping for Hemingway’s version of the SATs, but seconds after sitting down in my itchy, poly-blend blazer, she hit me with a question that caught me totally off-guard: “Do you actually enjoy cooking?”
I only cook when I have to, and as soon as a recipe calls for dredging, I’m out. Dredging? Who wants to deal with that?!Candice Davison
“Yes, it’s my ultimate source of stress relief…just like reading!” I said, smiling in a way I’d hoped was charming, but given my nerves, probably looked more like a snarl. She had noticed that I’d taken night classes at the International Culinary Center, and it sounded like she wasn’t too thrilled about it.
“I hate it,” she replied. “I only cook when I have to, and as soon as a recipe calls for dredging, I’m out. Dredging? Who wants to deal with that?!”
The interview soon spiraled into a 10-minute debate about breading and frying chicken, which made me realize that there’s got to be a simpler, zero-mess way.
And oh, there is. This method is basically creating your own homemade version of Shake ‘n Bake, skipping the dredging-in-flour part entirely. (Coating pieces of chicken in flour can create a thicker breading, but I’ve found this shortcut gets them pretty well coated as-is, so I don’t even miss the extra carb-covering.)
Here’s all you need to do:
Cut the chicken into whatever size pieces you want, patting them dry with a paper towel. (This helps the breading stick better.)
Toss them into a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Beat about two eggs per pound of chicken, pouring that on top. It will look completely unappetizing, but hang with me. We’ll get through this together. Seal the bag and shake, tossing the chicken until it’s coated.
Pour on breadcrumbs and any other seasonings you’d like. (For our chicken rigatoni bake, I used a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese, creating chicken parm nuggets that fulfilled a hole in my life I didn’t know existed until I tried them.) Seal the bag, and toss again to coat.