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Author Notes: This is one of my favorite chicken recipes, adapted from “Butter Chicken” in one of my most favorite food blog websites theenglishkitchen.blogspot.com. Pieces of chicken breast are dipped in eggs then rolled into a generous amount of Ritz cracker crumbs. You then scatter a generous amount of butter all over and around the chicken. The chicken is ultra delicious, and the crunchy buttery topping is out of this world. To make the chicken even more juicy, I brine the chicken for 1 hour. You can also prepare the chicken overnight, and when you are ready to bake it, leave it outside for half hour or so, and then bake. I last baked this around Christmas, and my father said "this is the moistest breast of chicken I have ever eaten."
Serves 4 to 6
For the Brine:
- 8 cups Cold Water
- 1/4 cup Table (not Kosher ) Salt
- 1/4 cup Sugar
For the Chicken:
- 3 pounds Skinless Chicken Breast (if you buy chicken breast halves like me, I like to further cut each into 2 pieces)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Rolls of Ritz Crackers, crushed (with some pieces looking like breadcrumbs and others being a bit bigger)
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Sweet Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Stick (4 oz or 8 tbsp) unsalted butter cut into bits (not margarine)
- NOTE: No salt is added to the chicken since it is brined; however, if you choose not to brine the chicken you will of course need to add some salt.
- TO BRINE: In a big bowl, mix the water with the salt and sugar and add the chicken, making sure it is covered with the water. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour (not more, not less) then rinse in cold water 4 to 5 times to wash the extra salt. This step renders a chicken that is more tender and juicy.
- Preheat the oven to 375*F.
- Place the eggs into a shallow bowl. In another bowl, place the crushed ritz crackers and add the garlic powder, black pepper and smoked paprika. Please do NOT add any more salt.
- Dip the chicken pieces first into the eggs and then roll them in the ritz cracker crumb mixture, making sure they are well coated.
- Place them in a baking dish, like a 15 inch Pyrex; then drop the pieces of butter all around, in between and over the chicken. I like to cut the butter in several tiny pieces (maybe 20-30 pieces).
- Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink inside, the juices run clear and the crumbs are nicely browned. Note that if you prepared the chicken overnight and it was thus in refrigerator, it may take a bit longer to cook.
- For a touch of color, feel free to sprinkle some more paprika over the chicken prior to serving. You can also even sprinkle some chopped chives or scallions. I like to serve this rich dish with steamed broccoli, and my salt & vinegar maple glazed potatoes or Thai Basil Asiago stuffed potatoes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken