As a kid, one thing I could always rely on is that mom would make “crumb chicken” for dinner at least once a week. Chicken breasts brushed with butter substitute, then dredged in seasoned bread crumbs, became a sort of comfort: I knew exactly what to expect from dinner, and that it would be something I liked. The ever-present side of steamed broccoli, on the other hand? Not so much a favorite, though it did instill in me the good habit of having a vegetable with every dinner.
Back then, dinnertime was the time for us to all connect as a family. We’d sit down shortly after dad came home from work, and though occasionally I was allowed to read at the table (I was a voracious reader, even then), more often than not, we spent the time updating each other on our days.
As we start to plan for a future family, Dan and I are trying to get back to the “dinnertime is family catch-up time” habit. We’ve rearranged our dining area, and we’re turning off the TV to focus on each other and our meal more and more often.
I’ve also recently started working my old childhood favorite back into our dinner rotation, though I’ve updated it a bit. Instead of butter substitute, I dredge the chicken in flour, followed by a beaten egg. I find it helps the bread crumbs stick a little better, giving the chicken a crispier, thicker crust. And where mom used pre-seasoned bread crumbs, I like to have a bit more control over the flavor, so I season plain whole wheat breadcrumbs with McCormick spices instead. It makes it easy to mix things up from time to time, too – one day, I might stick with a standard Italian seasoning blend, but the next, I might make it spicier with some chili powder or go a little heavier on the garlic.
As for the side dish? These days, I prefer to go with roasted broccoli. It has so much more flavor than its formerly frozen, microwaved brethren, and a better texture to boot. The edges brown and start to caramelize at the edges, bringing out a rich sweetness that even kids will love.
"Crumb" chicken is simple and quick to make, and when paired with a side of roasted broccoli, is the type of comfort food that the whole family can enjoy!
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon McCormick garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.
- In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the garlic, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Spread the flour in another shallow bowl, and the egg into a third bowl.
- Pat one chicken breast dry. Drag it through the flour, turning once to coat both sides. Pull the chicken through the egg, again coating both sides.
- Dredge the chicken breast in the seasoned bread crumbs, making sure both sides and all the nooks and crannies are coated. Place the chicken in the prepared baking pan, and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Using tongs, carefully flip all the chicken breasts over, and return them to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
What comfort food did you grow up on that you still make today? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments! And check out McCormick’s American Homemade program for more great recipes and tips!
Psst: This post was sponsored by McCormick and their American Homemade program. I created a FlavorPrint profile, and suggest you do, too – it might just give you some new seasoning ideas for your own “crumb” chicken! FlavorPrint considers what flavors you enjoy, and provides recipe recommendations accordingly. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.