I brought home a bottle of ranch dressing the other day. Yes, it’s true. I bought a bottle of salad dressing. Organic Ranch Dressing, to boot. Not that organic makes a bottled dressing all that superior. An organic pop tart is still a nutritionally-unsound meal choice regardless of where the sugar comes from. But I wasn’t thinking in terms of salad. I was thinking chicken.
Once upon a time, chicken dipped in mayonnaise and dredged in crushed corn flakes was the dinner to make. It was definitely a childhood-type meal and one that is still surprisingly satisfying. I’ve made it before, but looking back through old blog posts, the last time I made it was in 2011.
Time for an updated version – of sorts. Not that this is even remotely original. I’m sure Hidden Valley has been making it for 50 years.
Corn flakes are always in the cupboard – they’re Victor’s cereal of choice. There is always chicken in the freezer. All I needed was the glue to bring it all together.
The simplicity of it all was astounding. Put the chicken breasts in a bowl with ranch dressing and cover them. Dredge the chicken breasts in crushed corn flakes and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. No other seasonings required.
Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for about 20 minutes.
I was planning on frozen corn for a side when I spied fresh packaged ears of corn. They are not something I normally purchase, but I thought what the hell. I’m coating chicken in ranch dressing. It’s kinda difficult to pretend I have standards all of a sudden.
The chicken came out excellent! It was moist, crunchy, and had a really nice, nostalgic flavor – probably because the corn flakes and the chicken were organic, as well. It reminded me of the days of my youth before factory farms made conventional a bad word. I can see more of this happening. The corn wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t summer-fresh. I think I’ll pass in the future, but it was fun, tonight.
And now I have a half-bottle of salad dressing in the ‘fridge… Any bets it turns into a science experiment?!?