If you’re like me, you probably have a lot of frozen chicken breasts or thighs which can get old real fast. I can’t eat just plain chicken breasts, but I do like Chick-fil-A!
So here is a much healthier and easy option, it’s baked chicken but still juicy and you get the crunch from the Panko Crust. I like to serve it with sautéed green beans & mashed potatoes. This time I wanted something healthier so I added it on top of a salad. If you don’t have all the spices that's ok, but the one spice you must NOT skip is the Paprika.
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large egg whites
8 (5 - 6 oz each) bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, visible excess fat trimmed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large wire rack over an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet, spray a wire rack with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour Panko into a shallow mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss and rub with fingertips to evenly moisten.
Add paprika, thyme, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and season with salt and pepper to taste then toss.
In a separate shallow mixing bowl whisk together egg whites, salt, and pepper until slightly frothy.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip both sides of chicken in egg white then transfer to Panko mixture and dredge both sides in the mixture while pressing crumbs to adhere, sprinkle some crumbs over top as well and press.
Transfer to prepared wire rack spacing evenly apart.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and cooked through (center of thickest portion should register 165 on an instant-read thermometer), about 50 minutes. Serve warm.
NOTES: If your oven generally browns more than average and you find the panko coating is getting darker than you'd like you can drape a sheet of foil over the chicken when needed and continue to bake through.
This method will work for boneless thighs or boneless chicken breasts too. Cook time will be about half but as always test to 165 degrees in the center for doneness.