I love how recipes bring to mind the person who shared them! Every time I make Chapel Hill Chicken, I think of and pray for my high school piano teacher. I wish I had this recipe in her handwriting, but it's still special in my heart. I particularly like this dish for casual entertaining because it looks like a simple, non-threatening crumb-coated chicken breast, but has a savory, cheesy flavor and a nice crunch. It can be sliced and fanned for presentation on the plate, or just left whole to pass family style.
Chapel Hill Chicken
6 Boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
2 cups dry stuffing mix
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet. Melt butter if using.
- Slice or pound chicken cutlets to less than 1/2" thick. Pat dry.
- Pour dry stuffing mix into pie plate or dish. If the stuffing mix is cubes rather than rough pieces, it works best to crush it slightly first.
- Mix sour cream, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and salt in another pie plate or small bowl.
- Dip the chicken pieces into the sour cream mixture, and then into the stuffing mix. Lay in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with melted butter if desired. Although it is exceptionally yummy with the butter, the calories and cost go up considerably.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until completely cooked through. Remove from oven and let stand about 5 minutes before serving.
- I like a high crunch to chicken ratio, so I make sure the cutlets are pounded quite thin. They cook more quickly that way, too, often finishing in 15 minutes.
- This dish is rich and very flavorful so it pairs best with lightly steamed veggies, salads, or even fresh fruit salads. There's already a considerable amount of breading, so I don't serve a starch at a family meal.
- The sour cream cooks to a cream cheese consistency and flavor -- don't try to substitute.
- Use turkey cutlets instead of chicken for a Thanksgiving style meal.
- I start the chicken on the bottom shelf of the oven and then move it to the top shelf so all of the breading is crispity-crunchy.
- If you are having pre-schoolers in for a meal, consider getting pre-made chicken nuggets for them. (And that's true any time you serve chicken to company, not just with this dish.)
Because chicken is inexpensive and versatile, I serve it once a week. Chapel Hill Chicken only makes it into the rotation 3-4 times a year so that it stays a special treat. I find it easy to fall into a rut and serve an endless cycle of Chicken Parmesan, Awesome Possum, Chicken Picatta, and, Sauteed Chicken with Maple Apple Cream Pan Sauce -- all recipes I can make without a recipe and only the ingredients in my pantry. It takes a few extra minutes to look through my chicken recipes and mix it up, but I find that it makes a big difference in how our family responds when they come to the table.
Love you lots,