Nov 7, 2010

Crumb Chicken–THE Birthday Meal

Crumb Chicken!!

I’m a bit late, actually a lot late, on sharing this meal BUT better late than never! This meal is simple, there aren’t very many components or anything tricky thrown into the mix, but it is what you could call a staple in my house! Every year on your birthday mom lets you pick anything you want her to make for dinner. For as long as I can remember, crumb chicken has won consistently among us all. It’s not just the chicken though. She makes wonderful rosemary lemon rice, biscuits (the ones I’ve already shared) and then of course birthday cake! My step dad sometimes swaps out chicken for pork chops, but at the end of the day the “crumb” part of the equation is still included and that is the best part!¬†We of course make this for more occasions than just birthdays! It’s too delicious to only have once a year! For me though, this meal is some of my best memories of home and family wrapped up into one meal!

Going back to how simple the meal is, my mom gets people who RAVE about this meal. My bottom half step uncle Ted came over once for this meal, complimented her throughout the meal and 6 years later still goes bonkers when we simply mention the meal! (note: because he’s my step dad’s half brother, naturally my step dad had to differentiate if he were the bottom or top half…hence the bottom half step uncle part!) The best part about this meal is that you have the potential to knock someone’s socks off without having to cook away all day in the kitchen. Your job is minimal here, but the results are fantastic! Like I mentioned at the beginning, you aren’t creating a cooking masterpiece with this dish. Instead, it’s a slight twist on a meal that says comfort food for the majority of people.

Here’s what you’ll need:


(My mom’s crumb chicken recipe. Can serve a range of people just depending on the pieces of meat you prepare. Example: Usually one chicken breast/person.)

  • Buttermilk
  • Club crackers (amount dependent on pieces of meat being served)
  • Chicken (Bone in works best. White or dark meat)
  • Small tabs of butter for top of each piece of meat

To start, my mom actually soaks the chicken in buttermilk. This tenderizes the meat and really makes a difference in flavor. She usually lets the chicken soak overnight but you could also put the chicken in buttermilk the morning of the day you plan on cooking it. The best way to do it is take a large freezer bag, put the chicken in and fill the bag with enough buttermilk to cover all the chicken. If you are cooking lots of meat, separate the pieces so everything gets a good covering.

Chicken soaked in buttermilk overnight.

When it’s time to start cooking dinner, first thing you need to do is crush up your crackers. Take a handful of club crackers and put them between two pieces of wax paper. Use a rolling pin to crush them up. An alternative to this is also putting the crackers in a freezer bag and crushing them in there. The amount of crackers you crush is completely dependent on the amount of chicken you are preparing and need to cover. The best thing I can tell you is that is always better to crush too many than too few: you can always pour the extra on top!

Club crackers crushed and ready for chicken.

Take the chicken directly from the buttermilk and press each side of the meat into the cracker crumbs. Make sure you get the chicken covered really well on each side. You can transfer your chicken into a baking dish or even onto a baking sheet lined with tinfoil (the tinfoil will help alleviate clean up mess!)

Crumb chicken ready for the oven!

You can add a small tab of butter to each piece of chicken if you’d like. This helps make your cracker crumbs golden brown with a little bit of a crunch. It’ll be just as delicious if you decide to pass on the butter. Cook the chicken on 375 for 30-45 minutes. I give such a large range because it all depends on the meat that you are using for this. When everything is done, add a side of rice:

Crumb chicken and rice.

And of course a side of biscuits: (note: these biscuits are the same recipe I’ve shared but the quarter cup of cheddar cheese is replaced with a quarter cup of brown sugar.)


You now have yourself a fantastic birthday meal, special dinner with guests meal, or just another weeknight/weekend meal for just you or the family!! That’s how great this meal is! It can be used for any sort of occasion you’re having to cook for! Plus like I mentioned above, you can add the cracker crumbs to an assortment of meats and it’ll be delicious! The other question we get a lot with this meal is if the type of cracker you use matters. The answer to this is absolutely YES! We’ve tried all sorts, and Club crackers win hands down! The other thing you could do, and I sometimes do, is add some dried herbs like thyme, oregano, or rosemary to your cracker crumbs. Dressed up or dressed down, this will forever be my one and only birthday and comfort meal!! For now, that’s crumb chicken…in the shell of a nut!

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