I’m fortunate that I work with a lot of foodies in my department. My co-worker, Eric, is the most intense when it comes to all things culinary. But, Katilee, who is a mom of two girls, throws out some good ideas here and there. Last week, we were just throwing out ideas, talking about dinners in general. And then, like the development of most ideas, the “What-if” scenarios started. From those back and forth ideas came my dinner for tonight.
Baked Ranch and Cheez-It Crusted Chicken.
2 chicken breasts, fully thawed, pounded to approximately half an inch, thoroughly dried
2 cups ranch dressing
3 cups of Cheez-it or other baked cheese cracker, well crushed but some pieces can remain
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13X9 baking dish with oil spray.
The chicken breasts are liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper. Each is placed into a shallow dish with the ranch dressing until coated. Then dredge the chicken breast in the crushed Cheez-its. Place in baking dish and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off oven but keep chicken in for another 10 minutes.
The slow cooking keeps the chicken tender; the ranch dressing makes it moist; and the Cheez-its add an additional flavor that you weren’t expecting.
I have taken existing recipes and altered them to my satisfaction. But somehow this one stands out. Because it all came from tossing around a few ideas at work. (And, yes, we DO get our work done.)