Years ago, as I was paging through the now extinct magazine, Gourmet, I came across a recipe that consisted of brushing chicken with mustard and dredging it in crushed Cheez-It crackers. There was more to the recipe-I think spinach might have been involved somehow-but those three ingredients are what I took away from the article. Of course, I was mildly surprised that a magazine like that would include a recipe with ingredients that could be found in a frat house kitchen. But when a food combo is good, well, it is just good.
This recipe, if you can even call it that, reminds me that food doesn’t always need to be taken seriously. Sometimes fast, fun, and tasty are exactly the traits I am looking for when cooking for my family.
This is inexpensive and fast to throw together. Enlist the help of the kids or a spouse to crush up the crackers. Or better yet, do it the night before and save yourself a step when you are trying to get dinner thrown together. Either way, if you are making this for one person, or ten, it is equally easy. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that somewhere out there, the elite chefs from the Gourmet test kitchen are getting neon orange crumbs all over their kitchen floor too. Cheez-It Chicken
Just for the record, I would just like to say, I don’t like Cheez-Its. And don’t panic if you don’t like mustard. It is the combo of the two that makes this good. They balance each other with subtle notes of salt and…Oh heck. Who am I kidding. Its crackers and mustard. Just try it. This serves two adults and two munchkins with a bit leftover.
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips, or the same amount of chicken tenderloins
1-2 T Dijon mustard
2 c Cheez-It crackers, crushed
In a small bowl, toss the chicken and mustard together until well coated. If you really love mustard, go ahead and add a little more. Dredge chicken in cracker crumbs. Bake on a parchment or foil (sprayed) lined sheet pan at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until just done. Small strips of chicken will cook fast and dry out if overcooked so don’t leave the kitchen for long. For this recipe, I test the chicken by using a secret method that has been passed down through my family for generations and generations. I take a fork and cut one in half.