March 23rd, 2012

Cheez-It Chicken

Cheez-It Chicken



I haven’t mentioned this on my blog yet, but my all-time favorite food happens to be fried chicken. In fact, I think I can safely say that fried chicken is a part of my heritage. I was born in the great state of Kentucky. You know—-the home of Colonel Sanders and his famous Kentucky Fried Chicken. Well, the colonel wasn’t the only one making great fried chicken in Kentucky. I come from a long line of women who claimed fried chicken as their specialty dish. Before my grandmother passed away, my husband used to say, “Your grandmother’s chicken is the best. Your mom’s is the second best, and yours is third!” Now, don’t get me wrong. He loves my fried chicken, too, but he noticed that with each step backward along the branches of the family tree, the fried chicken got better! And guess what.  It just so happens that my grandmother and Colonel Sanders were buried in the same section of the same cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. We think of it as a tribute to the wonderful fried chicken dinners she made for our family for so many years.
My grandmother, Louise Brooks
Well, I have a chicken recipe for you today. It’s not fried chicken, but it’s still crispy and delicious. It’s made with Cheez-It crackers! And it not only tastes great, it’s easy to make, it only has four ingredients, and it’s kid-friendly to boot. I just love it when a recipe has everything going for it, and this one definitely does.  To make Cheez-It Chicken, you’ll need chicken tenders, butter, sour cream, and of course some Cheez-It crackers.
Crush the Cheez-Its by placing them in a large ziploc bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin.
Preheat the oven to 375. Roll the chicken tenders in the sour cream and then in the Cheez-It crumbs. Place them in a baking dish.
Drizzle with the melted butter.
Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
Cheez-It Chicken
Posted under Main Dishes

62 Responses to “Cheez-It Chicken”

  1. I love this recipe! It’s delicious!

  2. I made 2 big pans of this for dinner tonight (4 pounds of chicken!) and the family LOVED them! Every single piece GONE! And, they want me to make it again!

  3. Lisa, the same thing happens at my house. There are never any leftovers!

  4. Thank you for this! I’ve got three 10-year-olds in the house at the moment, and chicken. Don’t have some of my stand-by ingredients on hand, but I’ve got lots of Cheez-its … and sour cream and butter. Perfect!

  5. Rebecca, they are going to love it!! Good luck with all the kids!

  6. Thanks for a great recipe that all my kids will love! My eldest daughter is allergic to eggs, which is so often used when breading meat, so the sour cream is a great idea!

  7. You’re welcome, Paula. You’re right, the sour cream will be a great substitute for eggs, and the best part is that I bet she will love it, too!

  8. Turned out amazing! I edited it by marinating overnight in Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, and since I can’t eat sour cream, I used egg. Breaded with smoked cheddar, Monterey jack, and original Cheez-its! Simple to make, too!

  9. I am actually making this for dinner tonight, only difference is we add garlic salt to ours. I usually sprinkle chicken with garlic salt, then add the butter, sour cream and Cheez-its.

  10. I made this for dinner last night, and my kids LOVED it! They ate 4 pounds of this fried goodness! OMG! THANK U!

  11. Love this recipe as we are big cheese it fans! I read your story and found it interesting … My mother is also a Brooks born in Kentucky! Her name was Sarah Louise Brooks born in Pikevilke in 1927 to Earl and Lena Brooks! I know there are lots of Brooks in Kentucky…. We could be “kin” folks! Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. Jill, thanks so much for your comment. Wow! I’m amazed at the similarity of the names in our two families. Aside from the fact that my grandmother was Louise Brooks, my mother is Sara Brooks. In fact, she still is because she’s using her maiden name again. What a coincidence. And all from Kentucky. I was born there, too, but my family moved to California when I was just a baby. Come back and visit any time.

  13. My mom used to make this for us growing up (25 years ago, at least!) and I now make it. To make it extra cheesy, slice a pocket in the chicken and stuff it with cheddar before coating it in the crushed bread crumbs. I’m pretty sure I have that version on my blog – soo good!!!

  14. Will have to try this!

  15. This looks great & I love Cheez-its! I am possibly going to either marinate it in the Lea & Perrins &/or add garlic powder. I was also going to use Greek yogurt for the sour cream & butter spray instead of the butter to save some calories. Thanks again for it!

  16. This was so good! We bought the store brand cheez-its and they just didn’t taste as good as the name brand ones. My husband wondered if we could find a recipe that used them up since neither one of us wanted to eat them as a snack. I stumbled across your blog and viola! Our dinner tonight was great. Thanks for sharing!

  17. That’s funny, Courtney! I’m glad the store brand Cheez-Its didn’t ruin the chicken! You’ll have to use the real Cheez-Its next time and see if it’s even better. Thanks for visiting. Come back anytime!

  18. Cheez-it chicken and buffalo chicken dip for dinner in the same night… I can only imagine.

  19. Well, Smudge, I’ve never had those two together, but I hope it was good.

  20. I love this so so much, but if you want a little zest to it, add green chilies to the sour cream in a blender, and then roll the chicken in it. ;)

  21. Thanks for your suggestion, Lauryn. It sounds good, and I just might have to try that next time.

  22. Just made this for dinner. It was really good. I added pepper and garlic powder. We dipped it in hot sauce and BBQ sauce. So good!

  23. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later
    and see if the problem still exists.

  24. Coffee, I appreciate you for letting me know that you were having a problem with load time. I removed several images from my sidebars, and I believe the load time has improved quite a bit, but let me know if you are still experiencing a problem. Thank you!

  25. I make what I call ‘Cheese It Chicken’ but it is made differently than this. I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts (could use tenders I guess). I crunch the Cheese Its up in a bowl and add cream of chicken to it, along with my seasonings: salt, pepper and a little chili powder and garlic powder. Stir it up and after placing the chicken on a tinfoil-lined pan, I spoon the mixture over the chicken with an even layer, cover and bake at 425 for 20 min-30 min. Take cover off so that chicken browns a bit during the last 15 mins. Chicken is done when the juices run clear. YUMMO! Not crunchy like the above recipe makes it, but it’s VERY good. My son requests this for his birthday meal or any time I ask him to choose what he wants me to fix! Must be a little good, huh?!

  26. Thanks for sharing your version of Cheez-It Chicken, Sett!

  27. No Problem. It really IS good and I’d be honored if someone (outside my family) made it and reported back as to how they, and their family, loved it! :-)….Forgot to mention…it’s good cold too (you know – for those times when you sneak into the fridge at midnight or after. . . when you can’t just lay there and ‘think’ about food any longer…you just HAVE to have it!) Lol Enjoy! (hot OR cold!).

  28. Ha ha! This recipe is a definite favorite in my family (been in my family for years!!). I was shocked to see someone else knows what I thought was a family secret recipe. P.S. My family came from the Carolinas.

  29. This was so easy and great! Definitely a keeper at our house!

  30. Can you use chicken breasts instead of chicken tenders?

  31. Corry, I have never used chicken breasts before. It would probably be okay, but if I were you, I would probably just cut each of the chicken breasts into two or three strips. The smaller pieces will make it easier to roll in the sour cream and Cheez-Its, and then you won’t have to adjust the cooking time.

  32. Is the butter a must? I’ve never made anything like this before (I usually bake sweets, not meats, lol). It’s a little difficult for me to imagine liking butter being on chicken. I also have a pretty sensitive stomach when it comes to butters and oils… Just wondering.

  33. Melanie, I think it would be pretty dry without the butter, but you might try using just half the butter. Then you could determine if you should use more next time or if you think you can get away without using it at all.

  34. @Corry I learned this recipe from my mom many years ago. It was always with whole, skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

    @Melanie F. The recipe I learned from mom only had a small pad of butter on the bottom of the baking dish. I now use Pam spray for non-sticking but the chicken and sour cream mix should keep your chicken moist enough without the butter on top.

    @Laura@Winner Dinners Thank you so much! I didn’t have this written down for temp and specifics. I have taken to halving a skinless boneless breast and then cutting to tender-sized pieces. Awesome and thank you so much for sharing this!

  35. @Corry Sorry! Should have included for chicken breasts whole you’re going to want to check the final temp for doneness. It may take a bit more time in the oven to ensure the chicken breast is fully cooked.

  36. Just tried this recipe with chicken breasts, and instead of sour cream I used eggs, and instead of regular Cheez-its I used the white cheddar Cheez-its. It was AMAZING. Love it!!

  37. Liz, thanks for sharing your changes. That sounds delicious!

  38. I love this recipe. My grandmother used to make it on Sundays for family dinners. She used the cut-up chicken. I don’t even think they sold the tenders back in those days. I don’t think she used the sour cream though. Maybe she used buttermilk? I just know it was great then, but it is better now that I make it with the tenders, which I have been doing for a few years now. I will try your sour cream idea the next time I make it. It sounds interesting.

  39. Great recipe! I improvised a bit and used Hot and Spicy Cheez-Its with red pepper flakes and by putting Franks Hot Sauce in the melted butter that you drizzle. Turned out fantastic!!!

  40. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Sounds delicious. Thanks.

  41. We tried this recipe and LOVED it. Decided to adapt it to Pork boneless Sirloin Chops—called Sirloin Grillers. We used White cheddar Cheez-its this time and it was great.

  42. This is great! As a college student, I love that it was simple and I only had to buy a few things at the store! I could feed me and my friends plus have leftovers for $5! Yum!

  43. Katie, thanks so much for your comment! I loved it. It reminded me of when I was in college and cooked meals for my roommates. Good times! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  44. Is there anything you could use other then sour cream? Egg?

  45. Allison, I have never made this dish with anything other than sour cream. I’m sure you could make it with eggs, but I’m guessing that the eggs won’t hold as many cracker crumbs as the sour cream does.

  46. I was searching the web for a quick dish with chicken and Cheez-its. Im so happy I came across this. I am rolling out the Cheez-its as soon as I hit SUBMIT!!!!!

  47. I use to make this 15 years ago but with BBQ potato chips, regular potato chips, and now with all the flavors of potato chips, chili cheese, etc., there is no limit! Try it, a new flavor every week!!

  48. Great recipe Laura, thanks for sharing. I hate to burst your bubble about KFC but it actually started in Salt Lake City, Ut., not in Kentucky.

  49. Greg. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. And yes, you are right, the first KFC franchise was right here in Utah, but Colonel Sanders actually developed his fried chicken recipe at a restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky. I just confirmed it on Wikipedia.

  50. Is it safe to assume to leave the dish uncovered when baking?

  51. Rita, yes it should be uncovered so that it stays crispy.

  52. The basic recipe looks so tasty, I can’t wait to try it. Also, I love the ideas for variations and will try a few of these as well, for a change of pace.

  53. Just tried this recipe and it turned out amazing. Didn’t use butter or any oils and it still turned out moist and juicy. My boyfriend and I have found a new simple, affordable, delicious recipe that will fill our bellies without emptying our wallets!

  54. For a slightly healthier version, we use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Also, for adults, I mix in Frank’s hot sauce with the yogurt and also make a dipping sauce of the hot sauce mixed with low fat ranch dressing. Always a hit!

  55. I have this in the I oven as we speak! I’m excited to taste it!

  56. Really great recipe and my family enjoyed. Simple to make and I will make again soon.

  57. I will be making this for dinner tonight. I have three kids that are very picky. I will let you know how it goes. I have a feeling they will love it.

  58. I tried this with the white cheddar Cheez Its but otherwise followed the recipe. Once the chicken was done, I cut it into large bite sized pieces, tossed it on some noodles and added some spaghetti sauce and grated Parmesan cheese, and it is awesome (my own version of Chicken Parmesan).

  59. Made this last week and everyone loved it so much. They’ve been begging me to make more ever since. Super easy and cheap to make.

  60. My family and I love this recipe. I always do a basic seasoning on the raw chicken a little salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Never tried with the plain Cheez It, I use the cheddar jack flavor as that’s my favorite, plan on trying with white cheddar soon. Five Stars in my book.

  61. Do the chicken tenders need to be thawed?? I’m using naked chicken strip tenders and didn’t know if I could do this right out of the freezer — frozen?

  62. Jennifer, I would say yes, they do need to be thawed, or you’ll end up with too much liquid in the dish.

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