Potato Chip-Crusted Chicken
People often ask how I come up with my recipes, and I often say, “Trial and error and error and error.” And it’s true. Sometimes I get lucky and a dish comes together immediately. But more often, it takes attempt after attempt to get a recipe right. This dish is an example. I set out to make the recipes in this book defy the label “diet food.” I wanted you to be able to ﬂip through the book and say, “How could that be healthy?” and then dig in and realize that healthier food can actually taste great. As I was reading a magazine one day, I saw a version of potato chip chicken where they dipped the whole chicken parts with the skin still on in butter, then in tons of crushed full-fat potato chips. Yikes! But I thought it was an interesting, deﬁnitely decadent-sounding idea. So I set out to coat the chicken in Baked! Rufﬂes. The ﬁrst attempt was really bland. We decided that perhaps the sour cream and cheddar ones would work better. But they didn’t. Then we tried Doritos-crusted chicken, thinking that the strong nacho cheese ﬂavor would give it the right zip. Wrong again. Finally, after many spice variations, I arrived at this version using the baked Rufﬂes one afternoon. My computer consultant, Corbin, happened to be working on my computer that day (he loves food and his mom is a chef), so I had him try it. He was a huge fan, and a recipe was born. It’s really easy to crush the chips if you put them in a resealable plastic bag and pound them with the ﬂat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin. They should be pretty ﬁnely crushed or you won’t be able to coat the breasts completely.
2 3-ounce skinless chicken breasts visible fat removed
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
olive oil spray
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne
1-1/2 ounces finely crushed Baked Ruffles potato chips (should be about 1/2 cup)
Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper on a ﬂat work surface. Use the ﬂat side of a meat mallet to pound them to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Put the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag that is slightly larger than the breasts. Pour the buttermilk over the breasts, seal the bag, and then turn the bag to coat. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, rotating once or twice.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Lightly mist a small nonstick baking sheet with spray. Mix the onion powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, and cayenne in a small bowl. Put the chips in a medium shallow bowl.
Remove one chicken breast from the buttermilk and let any excess buttermilk drip off. Sprinkle both sides of the breast evenly with half of the seasoning mixture. Then transfer the breast to the bowl of crushed chips and cover completely with the chips.
Place the coated breast on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken breast. Discard any remaining marinade.
Lightly mist the top of both breasts with spray. Bake for 4 minutes, and then carefully ﬂip the breasts with a spatula, being sure not the remove the coating. Lightly mist the tops with spray and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the coating is crispy and the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve immediately.
Recipe taken from Devin Alexander's THE MOST DECADENT DIET EVER! Copyright © 2008 by Devin Alexander published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House Inc. www.devinalexander.com