Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hidden Valley Ranch Crunchy Cheddar Chicken

I first found this recipe on the Hidden Valley Ranch website (see recipe here) and drooled on my keyboard. This is a favorite recipe in our house, and is very easily converted to gluten free. It is also a no-fail, which is an big win in my book!

Here is what I changed from the original recipe:

First off, I use chicken breast tenders instead of chicken breasts. Personal preference. I like the flavor balance (flavor balance? Look at me getting all food blogger on you, lol) better with the tenders. The chicken doesn’t over power all the yummy goodness you put on it. Major plus side. It is also guaranteed to be cooked all the way through. I hate it when you get those chicken breasts that came from chickens that drank too much Muscle Milk and spent to much time at the Birdie Gym because I can never get them to cook all the way through! (I ALWAYS forget to pound them out, always. Never fails.)

Secondly, I obviously substitute gluten free corn flakes (mainstream corn flakes contain barley malt thus, not gluten free). These are what I used:

IMG_1381 

Thirdly (is that a word?), I don’t mess with all the measuring nonsense. I like to taste the cheese so I put lots of it. I like them a little spicy so I add about half of my grinder of pepper. I make it all look proportioned to the other ingredients on a plate. Looks good:

IMG_1385

Lastly, and the hubbo would say most importantly, I like to use “the good Ranch.” AKA not the store bought, pre-prepared Ranch in a bottle, but the Ranch you make with the seasoning packet. We’re Ranch snobs and that’s just the way we like it. This still tastes fantastic if you use the Ranch from the bottle.

So here’s how simple this all is. Combine crushed gluten free corn flakes, shredded white cheddar cheese, and salt & pepper (to taste) on a plate. On another plate, create a little Ranch swimming pool for all your chicken tender friends. Dunk the tenders in the Ranch, then put one side down in your crumb mixture, covering only one side. Place the tender crumb side up in a baking pan. After I have all the tenders coated and in the pan, I take whatever is left of the corn flake mixture and sprinkle over top, because I like mine crun-chay! It almost looks like an odd casserole when it’s done…

IMG_1388

They are individual tenders in there, swears. I had to cram them in there because I accidentally grabbed the smallest of my baking pans. But after I had half of the tenders in there I was committed to using it.

IMG_1392

Resist the urge to lick your fingers when you have all those cheesy corn flake crumbs all over your fingertips. You’ll have to trust me on this.

Put in in the oven at 350 degrees. Since the tenders are smaller than the breasts, I start checking them around 20 minutes for doneness. They typically take around 25 minutes.

Sorry, but I don’t have a picture of the finished product…it’s in my belly. :)

3 comments:

Chris said...

Hidden Valley Ranch is not gluten free. They claim there are trace amounts. For the gluten free dieter that is fine but not for us with celiac disease. Simply make sure your dressing is gf. Great recipe!

Allie said...

hi - yum that looks good!

i just read chris' post.... I didn't know that about Hidden valley ranch! I've been eating it all along thinking it was ok.

jenimaddux said...

It has modified food starch in it which can contain gluten. :-(