Substitute cheese crackers for bread crumbs to make tasty chicken

Sometimes you just have to make do in the kitchen. I was fixing breaded chicken cutlets for dinner one night and realized in the midst of preparation that I was out of bread crumbs.

I opened the snack cabinet and found a box of cheese crackers.

Cheese Cracker Chicken was born, and it's a family pleaser.

I pulse the crackers and a clove of garlic in the food processor, but you can always press or mince the garlic and crush the crackers in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.

You can replace the chicken cutlets with chicken tenders for Cheese Cracker Chicken Fingers, which children would love.

The cutlets also can be used as the base of chicken cordon bleu. Just bake the chicken according to directions and top each cutlet with a thin slice of ham and a slice of cheese. Muenster or cheddar work well. Pop them back into the oven until the cheese is melted.

Steamed broccoli and a fruit salad can complete your menu.

CHEESE CRACKER CHICKEN

2 cups crushed cheese crackers

1 clove of garlic

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

3/4 cup flour, for dusting

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons hot sauce

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry

Set oven to 400 degrees. Put crackers and garlic into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until crackers are finely ground. Spread crumbs in shallow dish and stir in Italian seasoning and parsley. Set aside.

Place flour into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Combine eggs and hot sauce in another dish.

Cut breasts in half horizontally into cutlets. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Dip into flour, coating both sides and shaking off excess. Dip cutlets in egg and then cracker crumb mixture. Place onto baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Makes 4 servings.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Beef and Bulgur Skillet is a saucy combination of cubed steaks and bulgur wheat.

Reach Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903, or at karin.calloway@comcast.net.

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