Friday, September 25, 2009

Cheesy Crunchy Chicken Breasts

What would go well with Spiderman macaroni and cheese?  Cheesy chicken, of course!  And the meal wasn't ruined with some yucky vegetable.

Tonight I picked up my 4-year-old nephew after work to spend the night and hadn't a clue what to make for dinner. The kid wants pancakes or spaghetti for every meal.  It's insane. I know he'll eat other stuff but I believe he thinks I don't know how to make anything else or he thinks he won't be able to help me if we don't have the pancakes or spaghetti.

Kaner and I stopped at the store on the way home and to get some cheap whole chickens (at $0.59/lb!!) but since they were out of those, scored some Randall Farms* boneless skinless chicken breasts (on sale) and milk.  I was hopeful about being able to prepare something kid friendly that would go with the Kraft Spiderman Macaroni and Cheese I had at home.

Remembering that Kaner's Mom made something quite similar in the past, I opted to make some Cheesy Crunchy Chicken Breasts with a side of Spiderman mac' 'n' cheese, even though the Kanerator insisted he didn't like chicken. After cutting half a giant cooked breast into bite-sized pieces and serving it with the mac' 'n' cheese, I told Kaner to taste it and if he decided he didn't like it, he could just eat spiderwebs (and whatever other pasta shapes come in Spiderman macaroni). 

Due to necessity, I switched up some ingredients (didn't have parmesan or cheddar cheese).  Otherwise, I think I stuck to the original recipe.  Click the link to see the original:

Cheesy Crunchy Chicken Breasts

1 c cornflakes, crushed
1 c Mexican blend shredded cheese
1/4 c butter, melted
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix cornflakes and cheese in a 9x5" loaf pan.

Dip chicken breasts in the melted butter and roll them in the cornflake/cheese mixture.

Didn't I say the breasts were humongous?

Place breaded breasts in a lightly greased 9x13" baking dish.

Monster breaded breasts in a 9x13" dish.

Bake in the preheated oven 30-40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

*Randall Farms provides the most freakishly huge chicken breasts I've ever seen. I breaded 3 breasts using the same amount of flakes and cheese that was supposed to bread 8 breasts according to the original recipe!  Maybe the recipe was first written when chickens were 2 lbs each.  Realistically, there's probably enough breading for 4 normal breasts.  Keep this in mind if you make this.  I hate when I run out of breading and have to prep more right in the middle of the breading stage.  The ratio worked out perfectly for me this time.  

The Kanerator ate all of his 1/2 breast as well as a big scoop of mac' 'n' cheese. If I'd known it would go so well, I'd have steamed some broccoli "trees".  Rodney and I thought it was fun eating "kid food" too.

Rodney actually had a revelation about macaroni and cheese. He thought he didn't like it from a box. As it turns out, he'd been overcooking it for years. The spiderman box said to boil the pasta for 11-13 minutes. I boiled the pasta in salted water for 6. Texture is key in good food, man. Always feel (or taste) as you go along.

  • milk, 1/2 gal: $2.50
  • chicken breasts, boneless, skinless: @ $1.97/lb = $8.69
There were five breasts in the package, 3 I cooked (and 2 I froze) which makes this meal about $7.71 which was enough for 3 people with a cooked breast leftover.  We ate all of the Spiderman pasta.