Bread Chicken With Seasoned Croutons For An Extra Layer Of Flavor

There are hundreds of ways to cook chicken breasts, but it's hard to beat crunchy breaded chicken. The contrast of the bronze, crispy outer layer with the tender and moist white meat is irresistible. Whether you're making crispy chicken cutlets for dinner, or air frying a batch of chicken tenders to eat during the big game, the process is the same — creating a flavorful layer around the chicken that stays on during cooking. You'll find crust-making recommendations that range from breadcrumbs to smashed potato chips and cracker bits, but crushed, seasoned croutons are one of the best options and they might already be waiting in your pantry.

Adding salt, pepper, and spices to breadcrumbs is important for the best tasting breading on chicken, and that step is already done for you when you pick seasoned croutons to do the job instead. There's a wide variety of crouton flavors available, too, so you can choose the flavor profile you like best. Italian seasoning would be great for chicken Parmesan breading, while ranch flavor might do the trick for chicken tenders.

Putting your crouton crumbs to work

With the seasoning already taken care of, the only work you have left to do is crush up your croutons so you can get them pressed onto the chicken. The easiest way is to pop them into a sealed zip-top bag and use a rolling pin to lightly crush them, converting the morsels to crumbs. You can keep any extras in the bag, ready for your next recipe. Another option is to pulse the croutons in a food processor or blender, but use care not to reduce the croutons to dust — you want to maintain some texture in the crushed pieces. The larger the crumbs, the more crunchy your breading will be.

For a thin coating of crumbs, you can press the smashed croutons directly onto the chicken pieces. Dredging the meat in flour and then giving it a quick dip in beaten egg before pressing on the crouton crumbs will create a thicker breading that will stand up to simmering in a savory chicken piccata sauce. No matter what recipe you choose, seasoned croutons make perfect crumbs for adding flavor and texture to breaded chicken.