These crispy, crunchy, tasty oven baked chicken fillet will be a surefire hit at the dinner table. Take some chicken breast, endow it with some lemony garlic flavor, coat it in a golden-brown panko crumb and you’ve got an awesome treat.
Crumbed chicken is a common food all over the world. This dish is inspired somewhat by chicken schnitzel, a staple of German and central European cuisine. With its breadcrumbs, juicy, tender chicken, and distinctive flavor you’ll be whipping up this easy treat again and again. The breadcrumbs help seal in the flavor of the chicken, with juices on the inside of the chicken breast, not on your plate. No more dry, rubbery chicken for you! You can serve it with a side of your choice. Maybe salad if you’re feeling healthy, or chips if you want a treat! You could even slice the chicken into strips and run it through a salad or on a sandwich. The options are endless.
What’s The Difference Between Chicken Breast and Fillet?
Chicken fillet is boneless, skinless, and meaty. It’s a piece of chicken breast cut into thinner strips to make cooking and preparation easier. You can buy chicken fillets pre-sliced from pretty much any butcher or supermarket, or slice up a chicken breast yourself. Be sure to use a sharp knife if you’re preparing the fillet yourself, and wash it and the chopping surface in hot soapy water once you’re done slicing.
Ingredients and Substitutes
You’ll need the following. This recipe is easy to assemble as it’s comprised mainly of kitchen staples. However, as sometimes it’s easy for ingredients to go walkabout, we’ve included some easy substitutions as well.
- Chicken Breasts: Cut these in half lengthways. Brine the breasts in salted water to lock in their moisture. You’ll want fillets or skinless, boneless chicken breasts to make the fillets yourself. You can also use chicken thighs for this recipe, but chicken thighs are fattier than breast.
- Egg: Use an egg wash to bread the chicken. This achieves the best results. You can also marinate the chicken in buttermilk.
- Oil: We recommend extra virgin olive oil, or a vegetable oil for this recipe. Extra virgin olive oil is the healthier choice of the two.
- Lemon Juice: Squeeze the juice out of a lemon yourself if you can, but bottled or pre-packaged lemon juice will do in a pinch.
- Minced Garlic: Mince some fresh garlic yourself for maximum flavor. You can use garlic powder for a subtler flavor if need be.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: These give your chicken fillets their crunchy texture. You can always use another type of breadcrumbs if that’s what’s in your pantry.
- Paprika: For flavor and color in your crispy coating. Paprika is this recipe’s secret weapon.
- Onion Powder: For additional depth of flavor in your crunchy breading.
- Parmesan Cheese: If you can, get genuine Parmigiano-Reggiano, and grate it fresh for the recipe. Pre-grated is fine too, but the fresh stuff is always the best.
Pro Tips for the Best Tender and Juicy Chicken Fillet
Brine! Brining your chicken breasts before baking keeps them moist and tender despite the high heat of the oven. A quarter cup of salt dissolved in a quart of water should be plenty. You can even add some lemon slices, thyme, or bay leaves to help season your brine!
Use a high temperature for baking. This is a high-heat dish, so you’ll want to bake at 425 F. This will ensure that the outside of your chicken cooks nice and quickly, sealing the juices and all their delicious flavor inside the chicken flesh.
To avoid overcooking your chicken, use a meat thermometer. You’ll want to check the internal temperature of your chicken fillets, and remove once the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165 F. Try not to poke the fillets too much, though, as this might let some of your flavor-saving juices escape.
Rest your chicken for a couple of minutes before serving. This locks the juices in, keeping them in the chicken instead of spilling all over your plate. Once the juices have settled in the chicken flesh, it’s time to serve. A few minutes is all it takes to keep your chicken tender and juicy.
Secrets to A Crispy, Crunchy Coating
To really ramp up the crunch factor, mix some crushed cornflakes in with your panko coating. Panko breadcrumbs will provide the crispiest chicken fillets.
You can use an oil spray to apply a small amount of olive oil to your coated chicken before you put it in the oven. This will help the chicken fillets achieve a delectable golden brown color.
How Long Should You Cook Chicken Fillets For?
Chicken fillets cook more quickly than chicken breasts because they’re thinner. This is one of the best things about using the fillet! In many parts of Europe, thinner strips of chicken breast are a staple of peasant cuisine for exactly this reason. For example, the Italian scallopine is a seasoned, thinned out piece of chicken breast.
It only takes 13-18 minutes to cook the fillets on both sides. You could even broil them to increase their crispiness, but don’t worry if you don’t like broiling. The oven will make them very crispy regardless.
You don’t want to overcook your chicken as it will dry out.
What Side Dishes to Serve with Chicken Breast Fillet?
Chicken is one of the most versatile meats out there. You can serve your chicken with pretty much anything, but as with most foods some sides are better suited than others.
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