Homemade Shake-n-Bake Chicken

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Homemade Shake-n-Bake Chicken — I love Shake-n-Bake, but I decided to see if I could top it. This recipe is MUCH cheaper than the store-bought version, and I think it tastes even better. You can double or triple the coating recipe and keep it on hand in a covered container for use any time with chicken or pork. I never buy Shake-n-Bake anymore. Use your favorite spices, or whatever savory ones you have on hand. The point is to use what you have without spending extra money. The recipe below is my favorite after several experiments, but be creative with your spices.

Ingredients for dry coating:

1 and 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. sweet or hot paprika

plenty of salt and pepper.

Mix dry ingredients, making sure to crush thyme in your fingers as you add it — that really makes a difference in the flavor — and use as below, or store in cupboard for later.

4 – 6 pieces chicken (thighs and drums work best. . leave skin on for moistness and flavor)

1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (gives a moistness and tang; essential if you’re using skinless chicken breasts as these dry out and are bland without the buttermilk or yogurt

Dip chicken in buttermilk, then press into coating firmly until they’re well-coated. You can even dip them again in the buttermilk and into the coating a second time for a really thick crust. Bake the chicken at 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes. They come out crispy, tender, and moist.

Easy Variation — This comes from the mother of an old boyfriend, David, whom I knew in college. She was very cute, and wrote on this recipe card, “David likes this one.”

4-6 chicken pieces

1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch

1 cup plain bread crumbs

Dip the chicken in the dressing, then press firmly into the bread crumbs. Bake as above. Quick and Yummy.

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