Crunchy Parmesan Baked Chicken
I had always made my own bread crumbs for all my recipes, and then my friend Joni introduced me to panko, which is Japanese-style breading. It has a coarser texture that creates a deliciously crunchy crust for chicken recipes like this. Panko is available in most supermarkets.
2/3 cup buttermilk or buttermilk ranch dressing
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 pounds chicken breast tenders
1/3 cup butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an oblong baking pan.
Pour the buttermilk or buttermilk ranch dressing into a wide, shallow dish or pie plate. Mix the panko, Parmesan cheese, and garlic salt in another wide,shallow dish. Roll each piece of chicken in the buttermilk and then dredge in the panko mixture to coat.
Arrange the chicken pieces in the prepared pan. Melt the butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave and drizzle the melted butter over all. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and no longer pink. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Serve with a green vegetable and Rice Pilaf (p. 213), Classic Mashed Potatoes (p. 211), or fettuccine with olive oil, coarse salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Variation: For a fast, easy dinner, simply dredge chicken tenders in panko crumbs seasoned with coarse salt. Fry in peanut or canola oil and drain on paper towels.