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Crispy Southwest Chicken

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August 27, 2015 · 3.4k Views
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(Jamie is a guest blogger from Jamie Cooks It Up!)

This amazingly flavorful and easy to put together Crispy Southwest Chicken is fabulous! Chicken strips are coated with southwest seasonings, two kinds of cheese and dredged in buttery cracker crumbs. Baked in the oven, the chicken remains tender while the cheese and crumbs melt together to form a crispy coating that is out of this world. A creamy gravy is poured over the chicken sending it right over the top. It’s kind of like fried chicken and gravy, only the chicken is baked (not fried) and is loaded with southwest flavor.

You could serve it with a crisp green salad or inside a warm tortilla. It would also be wonderful with a side of Cilantro Lime Rice and warm black beans. There are a lot of possibilities with this great chicken. I hope some of you get a chance to make it! Now, on to the recipe.

Time: 15 minutes prep + 30 minutes baking
Yield: 5 servings

CHICKEN:
30 Ritz crackers
1 (1 ounce) package Ranch Dressing Mix, divided
1 (1.5 ounce) package Taco Seasoning, divided
3 large chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
2 C shredded jack and cheddar cheese blend

GRAVY:
2 Tb ranch/taco seasoning mixture
1 Tb cornstarch
1 C milk
1/2 C whipping cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 420 degrees and spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Toss the crackers into a large ziploc bag and seal it tightly. Use a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs. Pour them into a bread pan, or medium sized bowl.
  3. Pour the ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning mix into a bowl. Stir to combine. Remove 2 Tb of the mixture and set it aside.
  4. Pour the cheese into a bowl.
  5. Cut the chicken breasts into long strips. You’ll want about 4 strips per breast.
  6. Dip the chicken strips into the seasoning mixture, then the cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken the best you can. Some will fall off, but don’t worry about it. Just coat it the best you can. Dip the coated chicken strips into the cracker crumbs and place it in your 9×13 pan. Repeat with the remaining strips. If you have leftover cracker crumbs, sprinkle them over the top of the chicken you’ve set in the pan.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  8. To make the gravy, combine the seasoning mixture with the cornstarch. Add milk, whipping cream, salt and pepper. Whisk it together to combine. Pour it into a small sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, over medium high heat, stirring constantly. It should thicken up for you once it starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and serve over the top of the crispy chicken.

Enjoy!

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Jamie Eskelson is a 41 year old wife and mother of 5, living in Herriman, Utah. She graduated from The University of Utah with a degree in Choral Music Education. Though music was her passion early on, once she settled down to raise a family she realized how much she loved cooking and baking. She spent countless hours developing her culinary skills. For the past 6 years she has shared wonderful recipes, complete with photos and step by step instructions on the blog Jamie Cooks It Up! Readers across the globe stop by her site to read and use the over 1000 family friendly recipes that are stored there. She loves food blogging and is grateful to have such an amazing job she can do from home while she bakes cookies in her pajamas.

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