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When I decided to post this recipe for Oatmeal Crusted Chicken, I realized that I've been making it for a very long time! I found it in 1997 in the Victoria Magazine so that means I've been making it for 25 years. I just knew it would become a family favorite and it has. It's a perfect weekend recipe because it needs time to bake in the oven ... time that you might not have on a week night.
The toasted oat mixture baked on the outside is amazing, but the flavor and tenderness starts far earlier. It starts with a marinade of buttermilk and Dijon mustard. The buttermilk lends tenderness and the Dijon brings a bit of gentle French spiciness.
Read on to learn about the benefits of a buttermilk marinade.
The benefits of a buttermilk marinade
Buttermilk has a gentle acidity that tenderizes the chicken without making it tough or chewy. I like to marinate it overnight, but you can get by with as little as six hours. The buttermilk mixture is also a great collector for the crust ingredients so that it bakes up juicy and flavorful.
Bone in? Skin on?
Oh my ... such great questions!
You DEFINITELY don't want the skin on the chicken. The skin will create a steaming effect under the coating and it will be flaccid and gross. Bone in? Well, I love the flavor of baked/roasted chicken with the bone in so that's what I go for. But I'm sure this recipe would be so delicious with boneless, skinless chicken. Just be sure to adjust the cook time.
The crust ingredients make this chicken sing
You guys ... this is where the flavor is happenin'! There's toasted oats, fresh sourdough breadcrumbs, freshly grated parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary. Do you see a theme with the FRESHNESS!? It's important, y'all.
How do I toast the oats?
Just put the oats in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Don't turn it up too high because you want to gently toast the oats. Let's be honest, I mostly keep it at a lower heat because I tend to get distracted by some other chore and neglect the skillet!
As the skillet heats up, toss the oats to keep them moving around and not sitting too long on the heat. Toasting, not burning, is the goal! If you aren't confident with tossing, use a wooden spoon and keep stirring.
Coat the chicken with the crust ingredients
Take the chicken out of the buttermilk Dijon marinade, but don't worry about shaking off too much of the marinade. It will combine with the crust ingredients to give you a really delicious crust and a bit of sauce.
One last thing!
Just before you put the chicken in the oven, drizzle some melted butter and olive oil over the top. I'm telling you, you don't want to skip this step! Pop it into the oven for about 45 minutes, but depending on the size of your chicken pieces, you'll want to check the temperature before you take it out of the oven. You're aiming for 165 degrees. The chicken will keep cooking after you take it out so please ... PLEASE ... don't overcook your chicken.
How to serve Toasted Oat Crusted Chicken
When you take this out of the oven, you'll be tempted to just dig in while you are posed over the baking pan with a fork ... because those Dijon, butter, parmesan, and rosemary flavors are gonna hit you right in the olfactory area, make your heart sing, and push you to put all manners aside.
However, I try to exercise discipline and a bit of social decorum and actually serve it in a civil manner at the table. Some green peas and buttered rice are perfect accompaniments. The buttered rice goes so well with the coating on the chicken (and its juice and the butter) and the peas bring a bit of bright and fresh.
Oatmeal Crusted Chicken
- 3 pounds chicken skinned & cut in pieces
- 4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- salt & pepper to season
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup oatmeal toasted
- ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Mix the buttermilk, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper in a large, flat dish. Add the chicken, coating it thoroughly. Marinate the chicken overnight or at least 6 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Mix parmesan cheese, toasted oatmeal, bread crumbs, and rosemary in a shallow pan. Lift the chicken pieces out of the buttermilk marinade and place them in the shallow pan with the crust ingredients and cover them thoroughly.
- Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish. Melt the butter and mix it with the olive oil, then drizzle it over the coated chicken pieces.
- Bake the chicken for 40-45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. If desired, broil lightly for 2 minutes at the end of the baking time.