Za'atar Crusted Baked Chicken
Breading and baking chicken breasts is a delicious and health-conscious alternative to deep-fried chicken. Breading can be seasoned with any kind of seasoning you like, so it acts like a sort of passport to a world of flavors. And it does so with a minimum of oil, so it forgoes all the cleanup that comes part and parcel with the process of frying.
Israeli Za’atar is a spice blend that is rising in popularity in the western world. It's earthy and has nutty crunch from sesame seeds; they're balanced with fruity-tart sumac and a bit of citrus and herb. It's an aromatic way to infuse a basic flour dredge with tons of flavor. We kept the breading light and playful by primarily using egg whites, with just a bit of yolk for some gusto, and we upped the crunch by adding even more sesame seeds to the airy crustiness of panko bread crumbs.
Baked at 425°F, these chicken breasts reached an internal temperature of 165°F in around 25 minutes. While they were cooking we make a pot of Lemon Rice to serve with it, and voila! Dinner is served.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- In a shallow dish, combine panko bread crumbs, Israeli Za'atar, and Toasted Sesame Seeds. Mix well.
- In another shallow dish, combine egg, egg whites, and water. Whisk lightly.
- Season chicken with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper Fine Grind.
- Dredge chicken in panko mixture.
- Dredge chicken in egg, then again dredge in panko mixture.
- Place chicken on baking sheet; you can spray the chicken with non-stick cooking spray, or lay a silicone baking mat or baker's parchment on the baking sheet.
- Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until internal temperature is 165°F.
- Serve with lemon wedges and Lemon Rice.