Sweet ‘n Spicy Panko Chicken

09ChickenBakedbfLOWell… the nice folk at Real Simple call this ‘Fiery “Fried” Chicken’ – because it is a bit spicy, and with the crunchy panko coating, you would swear it was fresh from teh deep fryer when it is really just out of the oven.

So far, I have made this recipe two times, the first using bone-in chicken thighs; which was really pretty darned good. The second time, I followed Real Simple’s advice and used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which I gave a good bit of a whack! with my kitchen hammer. More better, I think.

•1 tbsp Sriracha
•3 tbsp pineapple juice
•3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
•1 cup panko crumbs
•1/4 cup canola oil
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt

03aChickenMarinadebfLOA couple of notes:
1: don’t confuse Sriracha – hot chili sauce – with the more jelly-like sweet Thai chili sauce. Around about here, every market carries both, but if you cannot get your hands on the real deal Sriracha, you might could substitute your hot sauce of choice.
2: I am, at heart, kinda cheap (really!), so I planned making this around the same time I was putting a jar of Pineapple Mustard together, and just used the juice from the canned pineapple. I guess you could always bake the slices with the chicken…

05bChickenMarinadeBagbfLOPop the chicken into a sturdy zipper bag and do give each piece a couple of good whacks! with your kitchen hammer to flatten them out a bit. Combine the sriracha and the pineapple juice and pour over the chicken in the zipper bag. Squish it all around a bit to coat all the chicken well, then pop onto a rimmed plate (in case of leaks) and stash in the fridge for a few hours or, you know what’s coming… overnight (much more better). The Real Simple folk didn’t do the marinade bit, just poured the juice and Sriracha over the chicken and got on with it.

07ChickenCrumbsbfLOI happen to think that the overnight bath in the the fridge really got the flavor into the chicken, and gave us wonderfully moist and tender chicken once baked, but you do what you want.

Heat the oven to 450°.

Stir the seasoned salt into the panko in a rimmed plate, then add the canola oil and toss with a fork to make a crumbly mixture.

08ChickenBreadedbfLORemove the chicken from the bag, shake off any excess marinade, and coat well with the panko mixture, patting it lightly into both sides of each piece of chicken.

Place the breaded chicken on a rack (apply a bit of cooking spray to the rack) in a foil-lined pan and bake in a hot oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. If you use bone-in thighs, as I did the first time, try baking at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour.

10aChickenPlatePlumBeansbfLOIf you’ve used pineapple juice from a can of slices and aren’t making pineapple mustard, by all means add some of the slices to the rack along with the chicken.

We had ours with a bit of Plum Sauce on the side, some quinoa and wild rice (a bagged organic convenience mix with garlic – 90 seconds in the ‘wave!) which I drizzled with a bit of Vietnamese Dipping Sauce, and a new and tasty take on Green Beans Mandarin.

Convenient, those green beans. This new adaptation will be tomorrow’s Parfait! recipe.

I love it when a plan comes together.

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