Pantry Raid Chicken #1: Cornbread Fried Chicken

Everyone should have a few easy chicken recipes in their repertoire.  They are the perfect solution for busy weeknights and utilize things you should have in your pantry.  Throw together a side dish or two and you’ve got dinner served in no time!

This recipe came about because I had about half a pan of cornbread from a previous meal that was getting stale.  Instead of tossing it I decided to crumble it up and add a couple things from my pantry to make a quick breading for some chicken breasts (we all have chicken hanging out in the fridge right?).  This breading would also be great on pork chops, catfish, or shrimp.  Serve whole with some side dishes (I’ve noticed I ALWAYS do sweet potatoes and a green veggie for some reason, lol) or sliced on top of a salad.

Stay tuned for a couple more easy chicken recipes in the next week.  To tide you over, another go-to dinner of mine is Greek Grilled Chicken and Couscous.

Cornbread Fried Chicken with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
(see notes below recipe for substitutions)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup cornbread crumbs
½ panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper
Canola oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup whole grain mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Splash of apple cider vinegar

Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Pound chicken until an even ½ (or so) thickness. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.

Line up three shallow dishes. In the first dish, stir together flour, salt & pepper. In the second dish, add buttermilk and season with ½ teaspoon smoked paprika. In the third dish, stir together cornbread crumbs, panko, remaining ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, garlic powder, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat about a ½ inch of canola oil in a large heavy pan (I use cast iron but any deep pan will work) over medium-high heat until it starts to ripple. You can test a few cornbread crumbs in the oil to make sure its hot enough. The crumbs should be surrounded by lots of quick, tiny bubbles.

Dredge each chicken breast first in flour, shaking off excess. Then dip in buttermilk. Dredge the chicken in cornbread crumbs and gently press them in to make sure they adhere. Working in batches, cook chicken breasts in hot oil for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken to a sheet pan and finish the remaining batches. At this point, I usually pop these in a 300°-325° oven so they stay warm and crispy while I put the sauce together and finish up any other things I’m adding to my meal.

For the sauce, whisk together honey, mustard, oil and vinegar. Season with a little salt & pepper. Serve with chicken.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2020.

Substitution notes:
Buttermilk – sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (thinned out with a little water), milk, or 2 eggs lightly beaten
Cornbread crumbs – any kind of bread crumbs, crushed crackers, crushed corn flakes
Smoked paprika & garlic powder – any spices you like that you have on hand – chili powder, onion powder, seasoning blends
Whole grain mustard – Dijon, yellow mustard, any other flavored mustard you have around
Apple cider vinegar – white or red wine vinegar, distilled vinegar will work in a pinch


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