This recipe (like my Fails!: Ranch Potato Crisps) is also based on the Let’s Dish meal we used to get when we lived back in Virginia; except this one turned out successfully when I made it without their instructions. While, I no longer keep this in the freezer ready to go (my current freezer is much smaller); it is easy to prepare and provides a nice ‘comfort food fix.’
By no stretch of the imagination is this a ‘gourmet meal;’ but, by using crushed Cheez-Its in place of bread crumbs, it is a twist to what is essentially ‘shake and bake.’ Use chicken tenders (mini-fillets) for a ‘finger’ effect, or pound chicken breasts thin (which is what I used since the grocery store was out of tenders).
This recipe is freezable in it’s pre-cooked form. Freeze the chicken as it marinates in the mayo/mustard mixture in a freezer bag, and you can also freeze the crushed Cheez-Its in another bag (doing this will ensure the Cheez-Its are there when you need them and don’t fall pray to the cupboard gremlins that cause snacks to disappear). Honestly, you can freeze the dish after it is cooked, but I don’t think the crust will hold up well.
The night before you make this dish, take the chicken bag out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to defrost. Yes, this step does require a little bit of forethought; but if you know your day is going to be busy, it will at least save you a trip to the grocery store. If you serve this with french fries (chips) and broccoli or peas, they all can come from your freezer (saving you time). And the fries should cook at about the same temperature/time as the chicken.
The Let’s Dish recipe calls for you to cook the chicken in a pan on a stove-top (hob), but I do mine in the oven. The stove-top will be faster, but require you to stand there and watch over it more.
Here is what you will need:
If using chicken breasts, place a sheet of plastic wrap (cling film) over the chicken and pound it thin.
Put chicken into a freezer bag and add mayo, mustard, and pepper. Seal the bag and ‘massage’ the outside to ensure chicken is evenly coated.
Let chicken marinate for 30 minutes – 2 hours (or freeze).
Put Cheez-Its into another freezer bag and crush to your liking. You can freeze this to if you are stocking your freezer.
When ready to make dinner; pre-heat oven to 400° F (200° C) put the Cheez-It crumbs on a plate. Remove chicken from the bag, keep a thin layer of mayo mixture, and dredge in Cheez-It crumbs.
Place in greased baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes. Always check chicken for ‘doneness.’
Recipe serves 4-6
- 1 lb (400 g) of chicken breasts or tenderloins
- 1/2 cup of low-fat mayo
- 3 tbsp of dijon mustard
- 2 tsp of ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups of Cheez-It crackers (or cheddar flavored cracker)
- If using whole chicken breasts, pound thin (optional)
- Place chicken, mayo, mustard, and pepper into a freezer bag. Seal bag and ‘squish’ to combine. either freeze for later or let marinate 30 min – 2 hours.
- Put Cheez-Its into a freezer bag and crush. Put crumbs on plate.
- Remove chicken from bag and dredge in crumbs.
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F (200° C)
- Place coated chicken in a greased baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes. Check to be sure chicken is cooked through.