© David Loftus
Crunchy Garlic Chicken
The crumbing technique is so versatile – you can prepare pork, turkey or even cod in exactly the same way. As there is olive oil in the crumb mixture, you can grill, fry, roast, or bake the meat dry in the oven and it will go lovely and golden.
Jamie's Top Tips
To prepare your chicken
Cut each chicken breast into 2 equal pieces. Put a square of plastic wrap over each one and bash a few times with the bottom of a pan until they are more or less the same thickness.
Peel the garlic and zest the lemons. Put your crackers into a food processor with the oil, garlic, parsley sprigs, lemon zest, and the salt and pepper. Whiz until the mixture is very fine, then pour these crumbs onto a plate. (If using a blender, leave out the oil and chop the parsley roughly and the garlic finely. Add the garlic and parsley after the crackers are pretty much blitzed and mix in the oil once you’ve dumped the mixture onto a plate.)
Sprinkle the flour on to a second plate. Crack the egg into a small bowl, add the white, and beat with a fork. Lightly score the underside of the chicken breasts. Dip the chicken into the flour until both sides are completely coated, then dip into the egg and finally into the flavored crumbs. Push the crumbs on to the chicken breasts so they stick – you want the meat to be totally coated.
To cook your chicken
Preheat your oven to its highest temperature (475°F). Place your chicken on a nonstick sheet pan. Cook for 10 minutes, flip the chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, golden and crisp (no trace of pink at the center of the thickest part). You can check by making a small cut in a piece or two.
To serve your chicken
Either serve the chicken breasts whole, or cut them into strips and pile them on a plate. Beautiful and simple served with lemon wedges for squeezing over the top.
Serving suggestions: This is great served with a lovely fresh salad, simply dressed veggies or a fresh tomato and herb salsa.
Tips from the dietitian: We all love our deep fried chicken but since our hearts don’t, this is a great alternative. To boost your fiber intake a little you can also use 100% whole grain crackers instead of a plain saltine—you might even prefer them.
Food safety: If you’re preparing raw meat, chicken or fish on a chopping board, wash the board, the knife and your hands thoroughly afterwards so that the bacteria doesn’t spread onto food that is cooked or ready to eat. Some restaurants have different colored chopping boards for raw and cooked foods, or for meat, fish and vegetables, to minimize the chances of this happening. These are readily available from loads of home and kitchen stores so you might like to try this at home.
• 2 skinless chicken breast fillets (about 8 ounces each)
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 2 lemons
• 15 Saltine crackers (preferably unsalted tops)
• 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
• 8 sprigs of fresh Italian parsley
• 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 large egg plus one egg white
• Lemon wedges, for serving