This recipe for Ritz cracker chicken is the weeknight staple you never knew you needed. Who says you need tons of oil to make the crispiest, juiciest chicken in the land?
In this scrumptious dish, tender chicken is coated in salty Ritz cracker crumbs and is topped with chunks of butter, then baked to perfection.
It’s crisp, juicy, and just so incredibly yummy! This is comfort food at its best, and I could eat this chicken all day, every day.
Best of all, it’s oil-free! There is absolutely no frying necessary. Thanks to the Ritz coating, it’s just as excellent as any deep-fried chicken.
Don’t be shy about grabbing that second serving. Don’t worry, this chicken is guilt-free.
Ritz Cracker Chicken
Ritz cracker chicken is a crisp and buttery chicken dish that’s baked, not fried.
It’s coated in Ritz cracker crumbs and topped with butter, giving it that iconic flavor and texture.
Sure, it has half a cup of butter in it, but that’s still so much better compared to tons of frying oil!
Because of the combination of Ritz crackers and butter, this chicken has such a wonderfully crisp exterior with a tender and perfectly flavored interior.
It’s everything you can ask for in a chicken dish.
It’s also impossible to mess up. Yes, the dredging process takes some time, but it’s not difficult at all! Plus, trust me, the effort is worth it.
What makes it even more perfect for dinner is that it pairs well with almost any side dish you can think of.
- Eggs – They serve as the glue that adheres the crumbs to the chicken.
- Ritz Cracker Crumbs – To coat the chicken. Apart from the flavor, it also gives the chicken its signature crunch.
- Garlic Salt and Ground Black Pepper – For seasoning.
- Chicken – Chicken breast, thighs, or tenders – take your pick!
- Butter – Cut up into chunks. For the richest, most flavorful chicken. Use unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt that goes into your dish. Also, Ritz crackers are already salty enough, so you don’t need more.
Tips for the Best Ritz Butter Chicken
- The best way to thaw chicken is to leave it in the fridge overnight. But if you forgot to thaw the chicken before baking, you can submerge it, wrapped in a plastic bag, in cold water to speed up the process. This will take about 3 hours.
- If you’re really in a hurry, you can microwave the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on defrost setting.
- Whatever you do, do not thaw chicken on the countertop. This will expose your chicken to Salmonella and other harmful bacteria.
- Use shallow bowls for the eggs and crushed Ritz crumbs. This will make the dredging a lot easier.
- Use the “dry hand, wet hand” method during the dredging process. Basically, you’ll use one hand to dip the chicken in the eggs and another for the Ritz. That way, you won’t form lumps of sticky paste on your fingers.
- Make sure all sides of the chicken are coated with the egg mixture. This will ensure that it’s also well-coated with the crushed Ritz.
- For maximum crispness and juiciness, cover the dish in aluminum foil during the first 30 minutes of baking. Then, remove the foil and continue baking for 10 more.
- To ensure the chicken is cooked, use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of cooked chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Apart from the oven, you can also cook the chicken in the Air Fryer.
Variations for Ritz Cracker Chicken
- The recipe calls for chicken breast, but you can also use thighs or chicken tenders.
- Want creamier, more tender chicken? Dredge it in sour cream as well! For cheesier chicken, coat it in cheddar cheese or pepper Jack. You can also use Mozzarella for that lovely ooey-gooey consistency.
- Instead of Ritz crackers, you can also use bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes, or crushed potato chips. The flavor and texture will differ, but you’re free to experiment!
- Want hot chicken? Sprinkle the Ritz crumbs with red chili flakes.
How To Freeze/Store Leftovers
Another awesome thing about Ritz cracker chicken is that it freezes beautifully, either before or after cooking. Here’s how:
For pre-cooked chicken, wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag for up to 6 to 9 months.
Defrost the chicken in the fridge overnight, and bake according to recipe instructions.
To freeze baked chicken, first, let it cool to room temperature. Arrange it in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for 2 to 3 hours.
Once frozen, transfer the pieces to a freezer-safe bag.
The beauty of frozen baked chicken is that you can reheat it straight from the freezer!
Just bake it at a 350 degree-Fahrenheit oven for 20-25 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through.
You can also store leftovers in the fridge. Place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. To reheat the leftovers, simply microwave until warmed through.
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