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May 29, 2012 / hippiechickamblings

Lemon Cheez-It Chicken

Being a hippie from Kentucky, chicken has always been “my thang” as they say, and I’m constantly playing with new ways to fix it. About twenty years ago, I came up with this version, born of the need to find a way to incorporate my favorite snack in a recipe. When my daughter came along, she lost no time in exhibiting my Cheez-It gene. She was always such a picky eater, driving me mad to come up with ways to include enough protein in her diet. This dish is one of her favorites, and she loves the idea of eating Cheez-Its for supper. It is savory, crispy, and, of course, delicious. Not long ago, crusing the web, I found a slew of variations of this idea. I guess great minds think alike! In the meantime, I declare that this dish is my own original creation. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 whole lemon

1 C. Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

2 Tbsp. flour

3 Cups Cheez-It crackers, crushed into fine crumbs

1/2 C. melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray or drizzle lightly with vegetable oil.

2. Pound chicken breasts to tenderize. Lightly season with salt and pepper. This won’t work as well if the breasts are overly thick. Lay on a plate and pierce with a fork. Juice the lemon, and pour over chicken breasts. Allow to rest while you crush the crackers.

3. Use a food processor or ziploc bag and rolling pin to crush crackers. Make sure your crumbs are fine with no large pieces. Pour crumbs into a shallow dish and add flour. Mix well.

4. Take the lemon-soaked chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure to get them as dry as possible before transferring to another plate.

5. Pour the Ranch dressing in a shallow bowl. Run each chicken breast through the Ranch dressing. Allow excess dressing to drip off, then roll chicken in crumb-flour mixture. Press crumbs carefully into chicken to get them to adhere. Place onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the melted butter over the whole thing.

6. Make a loose tent of aluminum foil over the chicken on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 min at 375,  watching carefully to make sure they don’t brown too quickly. The last 3 or 4 min remove foil, so they can crisp up.

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