When I make a weekend meal, I like to look for something that includes everything I need in one recipe. I don’t want to have to pull together in my mind what the main course be, what sides, and how all the flavors work together. That way I can do minimal thinking and simply prepare the meal. I like recipes that make it easy for me.
This recipe for Baked Crispy Chicken With Carrot and Chickpea Salad is exactly that meal. The chicken has a crunch to it without being fried, and the carrot and chickpea salad brings the smoked paprika flavor from the chicken to it, with some added surprises.
The salad combines so many flavors that you may wonder if it is too much. It’s not and, in fact, you really need all these flavors to make the dish work. The hot sauce balances the sweetness of the orange juice and honey, while the mint brings a freshness to the final bite. It is a complete meal that won’t disappoint in presentation or flavor.
Making the Carrot and Chickpea Salad
Start by making the carrot and chickpea salad. Using a Mix-Stir, whisk the orange juice, smoked paprika, hot sauce, lemon juice, honey, olive oil and salt in a small bowl until combined. Peel and shred the carrots with a Vegetable Peeler, and then combine them with the almonds, chickpeas, feta cheese and mint in a large bowl.
Mix the salad ingredients together and pour half the dressing over the mixture and toss. Set aside and allow the vegetables to marinate in the dressing, reserving the rest of the dressing for when you are ready to serve the final meal.
Prepping and Making the Chicken
To prepare the chicken, start by trimming any excess fat from the breasts with a Trimmer.
Using an Ice Cream Scoop, pound the chicken breasts down to approximately a one-half inch thickness.
Place them into a large bowl (or large plastic freezer bag), pour the buttermilk over the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Now it’s time to prepare the ingredients for the chicken coating. Start by whisking your eggs with the Mix-Stir in a shallow dish and set aside. In another shallow dish, combine the flour, smoked paprika, lemon zest, salt and pepper. In a third shallow dish, place the panko breadcrumbs and set aside.
Quick note: Pie plates work great as shallow dishes and are perfect for dredging the chicken.
Once all of your ingredients are prepped and the chicken has marinated in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes, take each piece out and pat dry. One at a time, dredge the chicken into the flour mixture (making sure it is coated), followed by dipping into the eggs. Finish by dredging the chicken breast in the panko breadcrumbs, patting it down to ensure it is coated.
Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat the same process for the remaining chicken breasts. This is a messy process so you may need to wipe down your fingers between each preparation.
Mist each chicken breast (both sides) with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Flip each over and cook for an additional 12 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and golden.
Plate the chicken breast and serve with the carrot and chickpea salad, adding additional dressing if needed to the salad.
Baked Crispy Chicken With Carrot and Chickpea Salad is a complete meal that is easy to prepare and full of flavor. The chicken has just enough crunch to it and the buttermilk marinade tenderizes it so it isn’t tough. The carrot and chickpea salad combines sweetness and heat, and perfectly complements the chicken. You could even make the salad on its own for a lunchtime meal. A truly wonderful flavor combination may become a new family favorite.
Baked Crispy Chicken With Carrot and Chickpea Salad
For the Carrot and Chickpea Salad:
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons mint, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Chicken:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups plain panko breadcrumbs
- Olive oil, in a mister
Make the Carrot and Chickpea Salad
- In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, smoked paprika, hot sauce, lemon juice, honey, olive oil and salt. Add additional salt and pepper if needed
- In a large bowl, mix the carrots, almonds, chickpeas, feta cheese and mint.
- Drizzle the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss.
Make the Chicken
- Heat the oven to 425 F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Trim the chicken breasts and pound them down to approximately 1/2" thickness.
- Pour the buttermilk into a large bowl, add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
- Place the beaten eggs in a shallow dish.
- Combine the flour, paprika, lemon zest, salt and pepper in another shallow dish.
- Place the panko breadcrumbs in a separate shallow dish.
- Take the chicken out of the buttermilk marinade and pat dry.
- Dredge each chicken breast into the flour mixture, then dip into the eggs and then dredge in the panko. Pressing down to coat the chicken.
- Place each chicken breast on the prepared baking sheet, making sure there is space between each breast, and mist with the olive oil on both sides.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the chicken and bake for additional 12 minutes (or until the outer crust is golden and thoroughly cooked).
- Remove the chicken from the oven and plate with carrot mixture.