Are you a cheese lover looking for a delightful and easy-to-make chicken dish? Look no further! Crispy Cheddar Chicken is the perfect recipe to satisfy your cravings. With its crisp exterior and cheesy goodness, this baked chicken dish will become a family favorite. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making this mouthwatering dish. So grab your apron, and let’s get cooking!
Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s make sure you have all the necessary kitchen equipment:
- Small pans for milk, cheese, and cracker crumbs
- Cooking spray
- 9×13-inch baking pan
- Tin foil
- Medium-sized saucepan
Kitchen Tips and Variations
- You can use whole wheat crackers instead of Ritz crackers for a healthier alternative.
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika to the cracker crumbs if you prefer a spicier flavor.
- Experiment with different types of cheese to create unique flavors. Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or a combination of cheeses can work well in this recipe.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free crackers and ensure the cream of chicken soup is also gluten-free.
If you have any leftovers (which is rare because it’s so delicious!), store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The chicken will stay fresh for up to 3 days. When reheating, it’s best to use an oven or toaster oven to maintain the crispy texture.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken tenders or breasts?
Certainly! While the cooking time may vary slightly, you can use boneless chicken thighs in this recipe. Just ensure they are cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Can I make Crispy Cheddar Chicken ahead of time?
Yes, you can assemble the coated chicken in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. However, for the best results, it’s recommended to bake it right away to maintain the crispiness.
- Can I freeze Crispy Cheddar Chicken?
Although it’s possible to freeze the coated chicken before baking, the texture may be affected upon thawing and baking. It’s best to enjoy this dish fresh for the optimal crispy experience.
- What can I serve with Crispy Cheddar Chicken?
Crispy Cheddar Chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Some popular options include mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, macaroni, cheese, or a fresh garden salad.
- 2 lb chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts
- 2 sleeves Ritz crackers
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup whole milk (you can also use 2% milk)
- 3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- For the sauce:
- 10 oz can cream of chicken soup
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tbsp butter
Step 1: Crush the crackers
Begin by crushing the Ritz crackers. You can place them in a zip-top bag and use a rolling pin or your hands to crush them into fine crumbs. If you're using chicken breasts instead of tenders, cut each breast into 3 significant pieces.
Step 2: Prep the breading stations
Pour the milk, grated cheddar cheese, and cracker crumbs into three small pans. Add salt and pepper to the cracker crumbs and stir well to combine the flavors.
Step 3: Coat the chicken
Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then into the cheese, pressing the cheese onto the chicken with your fingers. Next, coat the chicken with the cracker crumbs, pressing them gently to ensure they adhere.
Step 4: Bake the chicken
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place the coated chicken pieces in the prepared pan and sprinkle dried parsley. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes. After that, remove the foil and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the chicken turn golden brown and crispy.
Step 5: Prepare the sauce
While the chicken is baking, let's prepare the delicious sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and butter. Whisk the ingredients together over medium-high heat until the sauce is hot and well blended.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy
Once the chicken is ready, please remove it from the oven and serve it with the creamy sauce on the side or drizzled over the top. The combination of crispy chicken and creamy sauce is simply divine! Pair it with your favorite side dishes like mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a fresh green salad.