The promise of crispy, juicy, oven-baked chicken is a treat no one can resist and is a guaranteed champion of the dinner table as well as a firm fixture in any Sri Lankan food recipe. The recipe we are sharing today is not your typical oven-fried chicken and while this technique isn’t quite as simple as adding chicken and breadcrumbs together, the results are worth the extra effort. This recipe pays homage to flavoursome chicken goodness that is found in many chicken recipes in Sri Lanka. It’s also a quick answer to dinner when the cravings kick in. Let’s take a look at the recipe:
2 cups crushed corn flakes, coarse breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
– First arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and keep aside.
– To toast the corn flakes or breadcrumbs, spread it out onto the baking sheet, add the oil, and toss to coat well. Toast the crumbs stirring halfway through for about four minutes and set aside to cool. Toasting the breadcrumbs in the oven not only adds plenty of flavor and even more crunch, but it also gives the chicken a beautiful golden colour.
– Combine the egg, mayonnaise, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and set that aside as well.
– Next, to pound the chicken thin, you need to work with one chicken breast at a time. Place the chicken inside a large zip-top bag and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin until you get an even 1/4-inch thickness. Set the flattened chicken breast aside and repeat with the remaining chicken portions.
– Pat the chicken dry on both sides with paper towels. This is to make sure that the coating will stick well.
– Now it’s time for coating the chicken. Transfer the chicken to the egg mixture and toss with tongs until well coated on all sides and let it rest.
– While the chicken is resting, prepare the baking setup for the coated chicken. Move the foil with the toasted crumbs off the baking sheet. Fit a wire rack into this baking sheet.
– Next, press the crushed corn flakes or breadcrumbs onto the chicken on all sides. Work with one piece of chicken at a time to make sure that each piece is well coated. Move the coated chicken to the wire rack.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and turns golden brown and crisp.
- Chicken breasts in Sri Lanka comes in all different shapes and sizes. Pounding the chicken into thin, even pieces is the secret to keeping this crispy oven chicken juicy while it cooks. Using a zip-top bag, like mentioned in the recipe above, is a hassle-free way to pound chicken because doing so will minimize mess and make sure that the chicken won’t slip and slide under the mallet or rolling pin.
- An egg coating is the traditional way for oven-cooked chicken, but combining the egg with mayonnaise helps the coating stick to the chicken and stay moist in the oven.
- Baking the chicken on a wire rack is the secret step that makes baking the chicken even faster and juicier. Elevate the chicken on a wire rack arrange inside a baking sheet to create even airflow and circulation to efficiently cook the chicken.
- Leftover chicken pieces can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
The crushed corn flakes, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs can be toasted, cooled, and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days beforehand.