Thursday, August 30, 2012

Homemade Shake-n-Bake

I remember seeing the commercials for shake-n-bake as a kid and thinking it looked like fun. My mom never bought it. Fast-forward a good number of years. My then new husband asked me to make shake-n-bake and is stunned to find out I've never made it, eaten it, etc. Nearly nine years of marriage later and I can't tell you how many times we've had it. I love it. There's something in the seasoning and it is wonderful. Pair it with some mac-n-cheese and steamed veggies and you've got one awesome meal.

I had some chicken breast in the fridge that I was going to use for dinner (who knows what I was going to make) and Husband requested shake-n-bake. Only problem, we don't have any in the pantry. So, we looked up some recipes online and decided to try and make our own. It was yummy. I enjoyed the taste. It isn't shake-n-bake, but I'd definitely make it again. I don't know how it would pair with mac-n-cheese, but it was great with pasta that had a creamy tomato sauce. I think it would probably make a pretty good chicken parmesan because it tasted great dipped in the left over sauce on my plate.

There aren't any pictures. It looked like any other breaded and baked chicken cut up into nugget sized pieces (I knew that would mean less time for the oven to be on and possibly a better way to entice the boys to try it). I ended up combining a few recipes. Here's what we used.

1 sleeve of Ritz crackers
about 1/8 cup of dried parsley flakes
about 1 tbsp paprika
about 2 tbsp dried oregano
about 2 tsp of celery salt (when I do this again I'll just use one)
about 2 tsp of garlic powder
about 2 tsp of onion powder
fresh ground pepper (I have no idea how much - probably about 1 tsp. I just kept grinding until it looked good to me)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut up (there was plenty of mix made to use more chicken)

Crush the crackers in a gallon sized ziplock baggie. Combine all other dry ingredients in the gallon ziplock bag. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add chicken to bag (it can be cut up into bites, strips, or left whole - you can also use skin on, bone in). Shake until coated. Place on cookie sheet lined with foil (because no one wants to wash extra dishes if you don't have to). Cooking time depends on size of meat pieces. I cooked the nugget size pieces for about 15-18 min. An uncut breast takes about 30-45 minutes depending on size and thickness. Cut it open or use a meat thermometer and check for doneness.

Here are the recipes I used to get an idea of what to do.
All Recipes
Hillbilly Housewife
Dinner, a Love Story

**You can use bread crumbs or saltines if you'd prefer. I was aiming for about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. I was using what was on hand (that was the purpose of the exercise). If bread crumbs didn't require the use of our oven (and if it hadn't been so close to dinner time already), I might have made some.

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