The Extra Ingredient For Breaded Chicken That's Both Crispy And Moist

Breaded chicken is a true utility player in the kitchen. Quick and filling, it is versatile enough to be transformed into dozens of different recipes with just a few extra ingredients, injecting some easy variety into your weekday dinners. Got some jarred pasta sauce and mozzarella? You can have chicken parm in under a half hour. Made a fresh salad that's maybe a little too healthy to be filling? A few slices of breaded chicken cutlet will make it a much more satisfying meal. If you have a need around dinner and not a lot of time to think about it, breaded chicken is there to help.

However, part of the reason why breaded chicken gets so many variations is that on its own, it's honestly a little boring. Chicken breasts are pretty dry, and don't have too much flavor; They are more of a meaty canvas for highlighting the flavors of all the other ingredients in a dish. And while breading helps, your normal coating of eggs and breadcrumbs isn't always bringing that much in the flavor or moisture department either. That shouldn't really be the case though. 

We bread and fry things to put flavor first; It's certainly not for our health. So why do we accept bland breaded chicken? Well, we shouldn't, and there is an easy ingredient you probably already have at home that can make a breaded chicken cutlet stand on its own as a delicious, unique meal.

Chopped nuts add extra crunch and flavor to breaded chicken

Nuts are some of the tastiest, most useful ingredients to have on hand in your pantry, and they make a fantastic, and easy, addition to any breaded chicken. You can use our recipe for Pecan-Crusted Chicken as a jumping off point, but almost any popular nut will do. Whether you love almonds, walnuts, or even pistachios, giving them a quick fine chop and tossing them in with your breading mixture will add a distinct savory flavor boost to your chicken with almost no extra effort. On top of that, nuts will help maintain the crunch of your breading well past the point a normal coating would have gone soggy.

Nuts won't just bring flavor and crunch either, they'll bring moisture to help out those dry chicken breasts. Nuts are high in good, healthy fats, so unlike dry breadcrumbs, they are adding moisture to your chicken — not taking it away. While the beaten eggs in a coating help, chicken breasts are notoriously lacking in fat, so any source of richness is going to be a big boon to your dish. 

No matter how you like making breaded chicken, whether it's on the stovetop, in the oven, or in an air-fryer, chopped nuts can make it better. Now your breaded chicken can be the star all on its own, just like it always deserved.