How to Make Shake 'n Bake Chicken

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Breadcrumbs form a crispy coating.
Breadcrumbs form a crispy coating. (Image: Lauri Patterson/iStock/Getty Images)

Start to Finish: 50 minutes Servings: 6 to 8 Difficulty Level: Beginner

Shake 'n Bake, introduced by Kraft foods in 1965, brought ease to making flavorful chicken and pork. Simply open up a box, dump the seasoning in a bag, shake your meat and place on a greased pan to bake in the oven. The results are crispy chicken with an herby appeal. Re-creating the taste and ease of Shake 'n Bake in your own kitchen without the processed ingredients is so simple, you'll wonder why you ever needed a box. Homemade shake 'n bake also gives you the freedom to experiment with different spices and herbs. Keep it traditional, turn up the heat or give it an ethnic flair.

Ingredients

  • 10 bone-in chicken pieces (legs, wings, thighs, breasts)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a pastry brush to coat the chicken pieces thoroughly with the olive oil.

In a large zip-close bag, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and spices. Place 1 to 2 pieces of oiled chicken in the bag and shake to thoroughly coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat until all the chicken pieces have been coated. Be careful not to crowd the chicken on the pan or it won't come out crispy. Use two baking sheets if necessary.

Place in the oven and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is golden brown and crispy.

Spice Options

Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the shake blend to add a spicy kick to the chicken. For a Latin spin on shake 'n bake, mix the breadcrumbs with a spice mix consisting of 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, salt and pepper. For a more traditional herb-flavored chicken, combine 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, salt and pepper with the breadcrumbs. Experiment with using a curry powder blend such as garam masala with the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper too.

Varying Your Parts and Other Tips

Use bone-in chicken to yield the juiciest results. If you prefer boneless breasts or tenders, follow the recipe but bake at 400 F for 20 to 25 minutes.

For quicker prep, coat the chicken pieces with cooking spray instead of brushing with olive oil.

The foil-lined pan makes for a quick cleanup. If you're out of foil, grease the pan directly with cooking spray.

Make up extra batches of the breadcrumb and spice mixture and store in zip-close bags to save time on busy nights.

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