Guest Chick Monday Featuring SciFi’s Smart Girl!

Welcome to our special guest, Charlie Allden!  She is a long time fan of SciFi, love, adventure, and happily ever afters. Charlie blogs at the Smart Girls Love SciFi blog ( and says she’s grateful to know cool chicks who share their recipe books! (We’re very grateful to know her! She also happens to be an awesome critique partner and fabulous writer of on-the-edge-of-your-seat sci-fi romance novels.) 

Thank you for dropping by today to share with us what’s cooking in your kitchen, chick! 

The joy of borrowed cookbooks.

The lovely chick, Abigail, recently loaned me some of her cookbooks. A great way to discover new dishes. I was looking for a chicken recipe that would satisfy my son’s love for fried cluck, but would fulfill my need for a more flavorful but healthy alternative. With a few modifications, Oven-Fried Chicken with Almonds became one of my new favorites. Of course my modifications probably made it a little less healthy than the original, but it still comes in ahead of traditional fried bird.

The biggest change I made was substituting crushed butter and garlic croutons for whole wheat bread crumbs and a crushed clove of garlic. I wanted a coarser texture than the fine bread crumbs would have provided and the butter adds some flavor.

My new recipe calls for:

1 cups of crushed butter and garlic croutons

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped almonds

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Pinch of ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (or breasts, pounded to ½” thickness and cut into 12 pieces)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

I start by putting the croutons in a plastic bag and then use the back of a spoon to whack the croutons until they are the desired coarseness.  A kitchen mallet would work better if you have one and put the bag on the cutting board to avoid damage to your counter tops. A food processor would also work, but I’m going for the course texture so I stick with my trusty spoon. Added bonus—whacking the croutons helps relieve the stress of the work day!

Next, chop the almonds, slice the chicken, and measure out your other ingredients.

Once that is done, combine the crushed croutons, cheese, almonds, parsley, salt, thyme, and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put the oil in a separate dish.

Spray a shallow baking pan with Pam and you’re ready to start coating your chicken.

Dip the chicken pieces first in oil, then dredge in the crumb mixture. Finally place the pieces in your baking dish and pop them in the oven.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center of a piece registers 170 degrees F and the juices run clear. You don’t need to turn the chicken during cooking.

This recipe makes 4 – 6 servings. I serve mine with some colorful rotini pasta and a salad. Yum! And all thanks to a loaner cook book!

How do you find new recipes?


18 thoughts on “Guest Chick Monday Featuring SciFi’s Smart Girl!

  1. Man, that looks good. And my mouth is watering just thinking about the garlic croutons. YUM. I wonder if you could put the chicken in milk instead of oil… cut down on some of the calories? But it probably wouldn’t fry up as well.

    As for new recipes – I love me a good cook book. Or a good web site. Or, man, I could immerse myself for days with online recipe sites. The trick, though, is getting the Things to eat it.

  2. Sounds SO good, Charlie! I want some like right now LOL and I’m sure your modifications are superb in the bursting-with-flavor department 🙂
    Baby Spice

  3. @ chicks – thanks for letting me share my new recipe today!

    @Abigail – olive oil, in small quantities, is pretty good for you. To make the recipe healthier and low calorie, go back to the whole wheat breadcrumbs instead of croutons. Yeah – the trick is always pleasing the younger members of the family. They never seem to appriciate our culinary genius. 😉

    @babyspice – thanks!

    @vanessakellyauthor – what a great resource! My mom has tons of recipies. I copied my favorites when I left home, but now I’m thinking I should take another look.

    • Good point. If I’m worried about calories, what am I doing using the croutons? *laugh* Ooh, I wonder how garlic-seasoned panko breadcrumbs would taste.

  4. Oven Fried Chicken, have not had that in ages Charlie…

    As for finding new recipes I come to visit Chicksinthekitchen blog!

    And I have an entire cabinet full of cookbooks that get out every once in a while to find something that have not cooked for us before… Along with that and looking up new recipes on the internet pretty much have more recipes than will ever use either printed out or stored on my computer in a file….

  5. Charlie, I’m glad you posted this recipe. I love crunchier chicken breading and this looks like it will deliver wonderful crispiness. I can’t wait to try it after my next supermarket expedition. 🙂

    I love finding new recipes on sites such as Betty Crocker, Kraft, My Recipes, Food Network, and basically any brand name .com that appeals to my current craving. I sign up for the daily recipe email from sites that provide them. I then keep them in a special folder on the computer desktop and select a new one from the bunch every now and then. Some work out great, others not so much, but you never know until you try. I’ll be posting in the near future on one I found from Guy Fieri — Chicken with artichokes & sun-dried tomatoes. So good and SO easy. 🙂

    • Oooh, and recipes from Web MD Daily Bite, Real Simple, and All Recipes are sent to me every day. Vegetarian Times is another that Jimmie loves.

  6. Yummy! Always on the lookout for crispy chicken recipes. Thanks!

    I find new recipes at Food or other sites, or by thumbing through cookbooks I haven’t read in ages. I modify recipes to fit what I tend to have in the cupboard most of the time. I can’t just run out to a specialty store for things where I am : P If it’s a hit with the family, it gets jotted down and piled on my shelf of cookbooks.

  7. Pingback: Anticipation Bagel | Chicklets in the Kitchen

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