Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

Crispy, Moist & Delicious Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

Crispy, Moist & Delicious Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

OMG.  A crispy baked chicken dish that isn’t dry and the flavor punch is out of this world?!?!? Ummm….Yes Please!

I made this and my husband absolutely devoured it.  Holy Moly.  It is Knock-Your-Socks-Off…. Slap-Yo-Mama Good!!!

And, best of all, simple!  I promise…make it once and you’ll never miss fried chicken.

Here’s how ya do it:

Season Your Chicken

Season Your Chicken

You can use a package of chicken tenders, but since I didn’t have any, I used 3 Chicken Breasts (organic & grass-fed).  Then I took my kitchen shears and cut each breast into 3 similar sized pieces (you could use a knife as well).  Sprinkle them with a little bit of seasonings, and you’re good to go.  You can keep it simple and just salt and pepper them.  I also used Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Dry Mustard.  You could also throw in some herbage and use Italian Seasoning.  I just wanted to keep the seasonings pretty simple and let the flavor of the chicken and jalapeño take front stage.

Crispy, Crunchy Cracker Breading

Crispy, Crunchy Cracker Breading

Prepare your Cracker Breading.  Just crush a couple of handful of buttery crackers.  Then season them with a dash of salt, a bit of fresh ground pepper, and some dried jalapeños. I might have added a little bit of garlic powder and onion powder to the cracker mixture as well. TIP: I used Late July Organic Classic Rich Butter Crackers in lieu of Ritz.  They are freakin’ delicious.  I absolutely ADORE these organic crackers!

Cheese & Buttermilk Stations

Cheese & Buttermilk Stations

Grate some Sharp Cheddar Cheese into a bowl and set aside. (Use REAL CHEDDAR CHEESE AND GRATE YOUR OWN!!! Don’t skip out and use that pre-grated crap!! Trust Me on this!)  Pour a bit of Buttermilk into a bowl add a few tsp of your favorite hot sauce, mix and set aside.  (EDB TIP: Whole milk will work as well! Simply Add a tsp or so of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and let it sit for a few minutes. Easy Peasy!)

Get ready to start dunking & coating!

Get ready to start dunking & coating!

Get a baking sheet ready and place your ingredients in this order: Chicken, Buttermilk, Cheese, Cracker Crumbs.

For this method, I first dipped the chicken into the buttermilk, then into the cheese and tried to press the cheese into the chicken with my fingers before rolling it in the cracker crumbs.  I have to admit, this wasn’t 100% successful.  If this method works for you; Great!  If not, and you are having a difficult time getting the cheese to stick to the chicken and the getting the cracker crumbs to stick as well….do what I did:

Cheese & Cracker Crumbs

Cheese & Cracker Crumbs

Just dump the damn cheese in with the stupid cracker crumbs and mix to combine!  Let me tell you, this was WAY better!!!!  Finally could get the chicken coating to stick!!!

 So, now I change the recipe to:

Dip the Chicken in the Buttermilk, Press the Cheese & Cracker Mixture onto the Chicken firmly with your hands.

Wow.  Much better and a bit simplified.  I’d just to it this way if I were you.  Hey, when you create, you gotta roll with the punches and improvise.  Best part of cooking!!!  I could have left this part out and just put the cheese and crackers together in the first place, but I like to show you, my faithful readers, that sometimes you gotta change things up to make it work.  Cooking is an ever-changing art and there is no one right way to do it.  (Baking is another story!!!!)

On the Baking Sheet

On the Baking Sheet

Line a 9 x 13 with foil and spray with non-stick cooking oil.  Arrange Chicken on pan so they are not touching.  Sprinkle with a bit of parsley. This is what your chicken pieces should look like.

Pop 'em in the Oven!

Pop ’em in the Oven!

The coating does NOT have to be perfect.  Just do the best you can!  It will still come out crispy, moist & delicious!

Cover & Bake

Cover & Bake

Lightly cover with foil and bake for a bit first.  Then, remove the foil the last 10-15 mins to make the chicken get a nice brown, crispy coating.

Perfection.

Perfection.

It already looks absolutely divine.  Now, plate it up!

Served with Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Served with Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

I made some seriously good mashed taters to compliment this.  It was a perfect combination.  I had a nice fresh salad on the side as well!

A little saucy drizzle on top!

A little saucy drizzle on top!

I had some of my Top Secret White BBQ Sauce that I drizzled on top.  Killer.  It was honestly killer on this.

I wish I could eat this right NOW!!!

I wish I could eat this right NOW!!!

I will for SURE be making this again soon.  You are going to fall in love….and so will the people you serve it to!

Baked Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken

*Preheat Oven to 375.  Take out 9 x 13 baking sheet, cover with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

*Cut each Chicken Breast into 3 equal portions, or use Chicken Tenders.  Season Chicken with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Dry Mustard, Salt & Pepper.  Now get 2 bowls.  One for your Cracker/Cheese Mixture and one for your Buttermilk.  Crush Crackers.  (I put them in a plastic ziplock baggie and crush them up with my hands and then pour that into a bowl.  Works pretty good!)  Season Crushed Cracker Crumbs with Salt & Pepper and add a dash of Garlic and Onion Powder if desired.  Add dried diced jalapeños to crumb mixture and toss to combine.  Add a little parsley if desired!  Add Grated Cheddar to Cracker Crumb Mixture and stir to combine.  (or keep the cheese and cracker mixture separate if you want…but I find combining them worked better).  Pour Buttermilk into separate bowl, add a bit of Hot Sauce and stir to combine.

*Take Chicken and dip into Buttermilk.  Then roll into Cracker Crumb/Cheese Mixture.  With you hands, press mixture firmly into the chicken to make a nice layer of coating.  Lay on baking sheet so they are not touching and sprinkle with Parsley.  Then, cover baking sheet with foil and place them in the preheated oven.  Cook for about 30 mins.  After 30 mins, remove the foil and cook another 10-15 mins or until the chicken in brown and crispy!

*DEVOUR!  

Serve with Sauce of choice:  Alabama White Sauce is Perfection with it! And you can never go wrong with Ranch!

From My Creations to Your Kitchen!

Eat, Drink &  Be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Spicy & Smokey Chicken Sammy

Caesar w/ Homemade Salt & Pepper Croutons 

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LAST WEEK LIVING IN THE APARTMENT!!! Hopefully the food and pics will get better when we get moved in and settled!  I’ve been using my iPhone for pics and cooking with very little equipment.  Man, I can’t WAIT to move in!!!!  Anywho, this sammy was pretty darn good, and VERY easy to make!  You can also do the chicken and onions on the grill.  Enjoy!

Ingredients Ready!!!

Ingredients Ready!!!

Ingredients:

2 Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Seasoned with Rub

1 Organic Vidalia Onion, Sliced

4 Organic Garlic Cloves, Whole

Organic EVOO, S&P

Spicy & Smokey Rub:

2 T Organic Chili Powder

1 T Organic Smoked Spanish Paprika

1 T Organic Ground Cumin

1 T Organic Ground Black Pepper

1 T Organic Salt

1/2 T Organic Ground Coriander

1/2 T Organic Garlic Powder

1/4 T Organic Ground Cinnamon

1/4 T Organic Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Go ahead and season your meat a few hours before cooking.  Add a dash of EVOO and REALLY GET IN THERE!!! Give it a GOOD RUB and don’t be scared to use your hands!!! You can always wash them when your’e done!  Be sure to let the chicken come to room temp (30 mins or so) before cooking.

Lay O

Lay Onions in Skillet, Top with Garlic Clove, EVOO, S&P

Preheat Oven 300 or 325

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Roast

Place Rubbed Chicken on Onions & Garlic to Slow Roast

We are going to cook slow and low for a hour, hour and a half or so

MEANWHILE…….Get your bread leftover from last nights supper!

Chop

Cube Local Rustic Wheat Sourdough to make Croutons!

Toss with EVOO and Seasoning of Choice.  I used a combo of:

ORGANIC: Salt, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Black Pepper, Thyme, Savory, Mustard Powder & White Pepper

Put in Oven and Bake until Crisp.  Turn & Toss Once.  Takes about 15 mins…

Sooooo Good!!!

Sooooo Good!!!

Now, Let’s Check on the Chicken!

Done & DONE!!!

Done & DONE!!!

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Onion Jus

Nice Blacked Coating and Ridic Smokey Onion Jus

TIP: Let the Spicy Smokey Chicken Rest for about 5 mins BEFROE slicing!

Slice

Slice

Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Put on Onion Bun with Lettuce and a Nice Grainy Mustard!

Garlicy Onion & Jus

Garlicy Onion Jus

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Top with Organic Munster & Onion Round

Side View looks DELISH!!!!

Side View looks DELISH!!!!

Enjoy!

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 eat.drink.be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari