Baked Cheese Puff Chicken
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
This was inspired by a Tasty YouTube video, "Hasselback Cheese Puff Fried Chicken," but I got a little lazy, so it ended up kind of becoming my own recipe and healthier, haha! I didn't feel like doing Hasselback and then I baked the chicken instead of frying; there were a couple of other twists I came up with.
I did think the Tasty YouTube video and the end result was cool and funny . Also, just the idea of using Cheese Puffs to bread the chicken is funny, but calorie-wise, it's not really different than using breading actually.
I decided to cook Cheese Puff Chicken for Cheese Doodle Day (see bottom of the post for history of Cheese Puffs and information on Cheese Doodle Day.)
What is the Hasselback technique?
Hasselbacking is a cooking method in which potatoes or other items are sliced not-quite-all-the-way through in thin, even layers, which can be stuffed or topped with additional flavorings. It’s a way of creating more surface area for flavors and creating additional texture. As a technique, it’s nothing new.
The most widely circulated origin story is that hasselbackspotatis were first served in the 1950s at the Hasselbacken Restaurant and Hotel in Stockholm—and very few people noticed. For another half-century or so, it kicked around in pages of cookbooks and appeared on restaurant menus, largely without fanfare. And then, in 2011, something changed. It’s unclear why, exactly, but around that time, food blogs were abuzz with recipes for hasselback potatoes. Joy the Baker was into it. So was Gina Matsoukas, aka Running to the Kitchen. Adrianna Adarme of A Cozy Kitchen loved it. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats set about making it even better.
- Chicken breast (this is about ~6 oz.)
- Cheetos Cheese Puffs
- Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
- Buttermilk (1 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar)
I got to do one of my favorite hacks -- making buttermilk:
- Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for ~10-15 min.
Since I do it all the time, I should probably just buy buttermilk, but I like to do milk+vinegar because it's a little science experiment.
1.) Make buttermilk (or just have buttermilk and add !1 tablespoon of Ranch Dip Mix to it.
2.) Marinate chicken in Ranch Dip/Buttermilk for 4 hours or overnight.
-- I just did it the night before.
3.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4.) Crush some cheese puffs in a plastic bag to make the breading; leave some bigger puff pieces.
-- A hammer is not necessary, but it is fun to use. Haha. :)
-- This is another twist I did -- I left some bigger puff pieces, so that you could really tell it was cheese puffs. :) In the Tasty recipe, they pulverized the cheese puffs, so they were more of a powder.
4.) Put the chicken in the bag and coat the chicken breasts with cheese puffs.
5.) Put your chicken on a baking sheet with foil.
6.) Place some more bigger puff pieces on to the chicken breasts.
7.) Bake for ~15 min. If your chicken breasts are thicker (~3/4 inch or more), then you may need to bake them longer.
Give it a try! We are good at this!
It actually tastes really good and you get some cheese puff texture, which is fun. :)
History of Cheese Doodle Day
"The inventor of cheese doodles is not entirely clear – the date when exactly they first appeared isn’t easy to find. Usually, food historians will attribute the bite-size treat to one of two inventors; either one Edward Wilson and/or Clarence J. Schwebke, who worked at the Flakall Corporation in Wisconsin around the 1930s. This company actually specialized in making flaky pet food, but created what was called ‘Korn Kurls’ as a (for humans) snack and applied for a patent in 1939. The snack was commercialized in 1946 by another company, the Adams Corporation.
The second most commonly cited inventor is Elmer Candy of New Orleans, Louisiana, around 1936. Today, Elmer’s Fine Foods still sells cheese doodles under the name ‘CheeWees’."