I’m addicted to my oven fried chicken! Especially when it has delicious pesto flavor. My Pesto Crusted Oven Fried Chicken is your next family favorite fried chicken.
I’m addicted to my oven baked chicken. No. Really, I am. It’s super duper crunchy. It has great flavor. I never overcook it. It’s juicy and tender on the inside while still maintaining that KFC, extra crispy coating style crust. How can I NOT be in addicted to my oven baked chicken?
You see, the secret to my extra crispy, oven baked chicken is the panko. Not just any panko, but toasted panko. If you toast the panko before you coat the chicken it makes the panko super crispy. It also keeps the panko from getting soggy when you dredge the chicken in the egg before dredging it in the panko.
How many times can one person use the word panko in a paragraph?
I can’t even remember when or why I started to toast the panko. I think I was toasting breadcrumbs before switching almost exclusively to panko. And, the deep, dark recesses of my brain leads me to think it was for a crab cake recipe? But don’t quote me on that one.
Another reason my chicken is the best chicken ever is the double dip. I know. At parties, the double dip isn’t a good thing, but for oven fried chicken it is the best thing!!
You see, the flour combined with the egg acts like a glue that allows the maximum amount of panko coverage when you dredge that final time before placing on the wire rack to bake. Since it’s super crispy and perfectly seasoning, you want as much panko on that chicken as you can get. So, the chicken goes into seasoned flour, then seasoned eggs, then seasoned panko. You notice a pattern here? SEASONING!
You can have the crispiest, juiciest chicken, but if it has no flavor, it’s not going to be the best chicken ever. So, I salt and pepper (usually with garlic salt) all three. Then, the final seasoning I want to feature goes into the panko. It’s going to be the first thing you’ll taste when you bite into the chicken; not the egg and definitely NOT the flour.
Wire rack? Oh yes. That’s a must for oven frying anything. You see, air needs to be able to surround the chicken from all sides to get that perfectly crunchy coating. If the heat can’t surround the chicken, you’ll get moisture trapped and that just makes for only half crunchy chicken.
Besides, it prevents the chicken from cooking evenly. If the chicken is simply placed on a pan, that part touching the pan will cook first giving part of the chicken the opportunity to dry out before the rest of the chicken is cooked. So not addictive.
Now that I have perfected this recipe starting with the potato chip chicken, then moving on to a sheet pan parm recipe I have yet to post, and also using it with XX recipe, I have to branch out. I have to change things up. I have to see how far I can take this totally addicted recipe in the kitchen.
So, as y’all know, I wander Pinterest often. What? You mean you didn’t know that? It’s shocking to find out that I use Pinterest for a source of inspiration, but I can’t just pull this stuff outta my you know what!! So, there I was perusing through Pinterest when I saw pesto and parmesan together. Then I thought I’d try to make a pesto parm.
That’s still in the works, but what it did get me thinking of was flavoring the panko with some delicious pesto flavor. Genius!! Since I didn’t think that simply dried basil would do the trick, I headed to the mixes and gravies section of the spice aisle. That’s where they are in my grocery store. Maybe they’re near the soup in yours? You know those familiar red packets that you mix with water for simple gravy, au jus, and the like? Yeah! Those!
So, I went to that aisle and found me some packets of instant pesto sauce. Now. Before you get all high and mighty on my, hear me out. Like I said, I didn’t think simply dried basil would do the trick. It just doesn’t have that strong, pesto flavor I was looking for. I wanted that creamy, basil, garlic flavor to just shine. These packets of heaven really did the trick. Once I opened one, I knew it would be just the thing to make my chicken taste of delicious pesto.
Okay, stop judging!! The pasta, which you should see coming up soon on my blog, IS NOT made with the packet. Honestly. I’m not THAT lazy. It has real basil and parmesan in it. But that’s as far as this description goes. It was a delicious throw together side for the chicken that will turn into it’s own meal this month. Yup. Pulling that one outta my you know what made for a delicious idea!! Stay tuned.
And you’ll also have to stay tuned to see what other flavors I invent with this oven fried chicken recipe of mine. Trust when I say that you’re not going to want to miss them. They’re going to be amazingly delicious, oh so inventive, and something you’re going to rush to your kitchen to make for your family. Okay, that last one is a bit much, right?
How do you make the most addictive oven fried chicken? Have you spiced yours up lately?
- 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 15 grams pesto sauce packet
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place the panko in a shallow dish. Toast in the oven until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before putting into a shallow dish.
- Stir 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and contents of the pesto packet into the panko.
- Combine the egg substitute with 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a shallow dish.
- Combine the flour with the remaining garlic salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, then the egg, then the panko and place on a roasting rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray before baking at 400 for 35 to 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before serving.
- Serve with pesto pasta and a side salad.