I decided comfort foods sounded perfect for tonight and I found a menu on Cook's Illustrated titled Lighter Comfort Foods which sounded like the perfect fit for my healthier eating plan. The menu included Lighter Mashed Potatoes, and Glazed Carrots along with the Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts. I started with bone-in chicken breast halves and removed the skin. They then got a dip in some seasoned beaten egg whites and finally were coated with the crumb mixture which was a package of Melba toast processed to a crumb. The crumb coated breasts went on a rack on a baking sheet and were sprayed with vegetable cooking spray before going into a preheated hot oven for about 45 minutes.
The crumb mixture came out a nice dark color and stuck to the chicken really well and the meat was very moist but I thought it was a little bland. I'm sure it can be spiced up the next time I make it.
Oven-Fried Chicken Breasts
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
1 box plain Melba toast (about 5 ounces), broken into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minces fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 split bone-in chicken breasts (about 10 ounces each), skin removed
Vegetable cooking spray
Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top.
Process the Melba toast into coarse crumbs in a food processor, about twelve 1-second pulses. Spread the crumbs in a shallow dish and toss with the oil.
In a separate shallow dish, whisk the egg whites, mustard, thyme, garlic powder, and cayenne together.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip it into the egg white mixture, then coat with the Melba crumbs. Press on the Melba crumbs to make sure they adhere to the chicken. Lay the chicken on the wire rack and spray the tops with vegetable oil spray.
Bake until the coating is golden, the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the thickest part registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Check the chicken about halfway through the cooking time and move to a lower rack in the oven if the crumbs are browning too quickly.