Monday, March 2, 2015

Baked Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato Crust

 © Donna Cook – All Rights Reserved  

Here's a quick and easy chicken recipe using sun dried tomatoes. I don't remember where I found it but this recipe packs in a lot of unique flavor but not a lot of prep work. I did want to title this "Crumby Chicken" but decided that a more descriptive title would be better. 

According to Foodsafety.gov, the internal temperature of cooked chicken should be at least 165 degrees.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh bread crumbs-about 4 slices of bread (dry crumbs won't work, sorry)
  • 1 8.5 oz jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced (can be increased or decreased
  • 2 large whole chicken breasts cut in half
  • 1 -2 tablespoons olive or cooking oil
Stats
  • Total time: 1 hour 15 min
    • Prep time: 15 min
    • Cook time: 1 hour 
  • Servings: 4
Instructions

Prepare bread crumb crust:
  1. If you have a food processor or blender, process bread into crumbs.
  2. Add entire jar of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil to bread crumbs.
  3. Process until tomatoes are in small chunks.
  4. Alternately, cut bread and tomatoes into small pieces.
  5. Combine in bowl with olive jar from the jar.
Chicken preparation:
  1. Saute garlic in oil for one minute in a skillet or frying pan.
  2. Cut chicken breasts in half.
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, fresh ground pepper is best.
  4. Brown the four pieces of chicken on each side, about 5 minutes each.
  5. Place in baking pan.
  6. Cover each piece of chicken with an equal amount of the bread crumb mixture.
  7. Cover and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes or until internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.
  9. Remove from oven and serve immediately with a favorite vegetable or salad.

Food Facts - Sun Dried Foods

Drying foods in the sun and wind is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. A huge variety of foods has been preserved in this ancient method; fruits such as grapes and dates, crops like beans and  tomatoes, and all types of meats fish, beef, and game. There is archeological evidence of dried foods as early as 12000 BC.
Popular modern dried foods include meat jerkies, raisins, and fruit leathers.

Drying foods removed up to 95% of the water in the food. The upside is using the sun costs the least and can dry huge quantities of food at once. The downside is that it takes a long time and is subject to changes in the weather. Consistent hot weather is needed for several days with low humidity, which limits the areas to basically the southwestern states and California. One major producer states that they dry their tomatoes for 12 days! According to “Canning and Preserving for Dummies”, the day time temperature has to be above 85 degrees and the night time temperature not less than 65 degrees for the duration of drying. 

Luckily, food dehydrators and a kitchen oven can also do the job! I don’t see a consensus about what the temperature of the oven should be. I’ve seen a range of 130 degrees to 300 degrees. Probably the best idea is to get the right tool for the job, an electric dehydrator. You can dry fruits, vegetables, and herbs from your garden or make meat jerky exactly to your taste.

Image credit: Allposters.com