Crusting Chicken Secrets

The key to success involves the four "Cs": chicken, crumbs, coating, and cooking.

Crusting Chicken Secrets

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


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  • Choose boneless, skinless breast halves.

  • Because whole breast halves are too big, halve each one lengthwise.

  • Lightly pound the pieces to an even ½" thick (be gentle). Pounding chicken pieces in a slightly damp plastic bag helps to prevent sticking and tearing.


  • Crumbs are the most important ingredient in crusting chicken.

  • For the best crumbs, you need the right bread. A rustic-type loaf with a chewy, yet fairly soft crust is ideal (like CIABATTA). Bread with a holey interior makes crumbs vary in size - that's good. Stay away from loaves having dense, hard crusts.

  • Cut bread into cubes (leave crust on). The crumbs will be different sizes-from powdery to the size of peas.

  • Dry the crumbs on a baking sheet in a 200F oven until they are dried but not toasted, about 10-15 minutes.


  • It is important to dip the chicken first in the egg mixture, then in the crumb mixture.

  • Because the crumbs are coarse, they won't adhere well. Don't worry. Scoop handful of crumbs, piling them on each piece, then transfer chicken to a rack set over a baking sheet. Air-dry chicken in the fridge 20 to 20 minutes to set the crumbs.


  • To cook the chicken, first saute it on the stovetop in an ovenproof, nonstick skillet.

  • As you put the chicken in the pan, lay it down toward you from back to front. This way, it rests on top of any of the crumbs that may fall off.

  • Saute the chicken until it's golden and crisp on one side, then carefully flip the pieces over, using your hand to help gently guide them.

  • Transfer the pan to a preheated oven at 450F to finish cooking the chicken, about 8 to 10 minutes more.




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