Ritzy Cheddar Chicken Breasts
They’re as good as they sound: cheesy chicken cutlets coated with buttery Ritz crackers. Skipping the usual flour-egg-bread crumb dredge, this recipe relies instead on a flavorful base layer of tangy sour cream, which has lactic acid that tenderizes boneless, skinless chicken breasts beautifully. When it comes to breaded white meat, thin cutlets are ideal, which you can buy from the store or achieve by slicing thick breasts in half horizontally (no pounding necessary). They cook more evenly this way, staying tender throughout as they’re quickly baked in a hot oven. Serve with something fresh — a big green salad, perhaps — to balance the wonderful richness of this nostalgic number.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing wire rack
- ¼cup sour cream
- 1large egg white
- 1teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 2large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
- 1sleeve Ritz crackers (about 100 grams)
- 2ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 cup)
- ½teaspoon garlic powder
- ½teaspoon onion powder
Step 1Position rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place an ovenproof wire rack over a sheet pan. Dab a folded-up paper towel with olive oil and rub it over the wire rack to grease it.
Step 2In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, egg white and Dijon mustard until smooth. Season with salt. Lay the chicken flat on a cutting board and carve each breast in half horizontally so you end up with four thin cutlets. Add the chicken to the sour cream mixture, and using your hands, smear the sour cream all over the chicken.
Step 3In a large bowl, crush the Ritz crackers into coarse pieces with your fingers. Some crackers will turn to rubble while others turn to dust. Add the cheese, garlic powder, onion powder and olive oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss until evenly distributed. Holding one of the chicken cutlets by its thinner end, add to the bowl with the crumbs, and using your hands, pack the crumbs onto the chicken, pressing them in to create a thick coating. Transfer the breaded chicken to the rack in the sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining three cutlets.
Step 4Bake the cutlets until the outsides are crispy and the insides are no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the chicken cool slightly so the coating can set, about 5 minutes, before transferring to plates and serving.