How to Bake Frozen and Pre-Breaded Chicken
Convenience foods are a great way to speed up dinner and minimize the time spent in the kitchen. This allows you to spend more time with your family. Moms are always in need of more time, so it’s no surprise that they love convenience foods.
Pre-breaded and frozen chicken are a family favorite. These meals are fast, inexpensive, and delicious. Even picky eaters love frozen chicken nuggets or tenders. You can even purchase chicken nuggets in fun shapes to encourage children to eat more.
Although convenient, frozen foods do present health hazards. Salmonella, listeria, and other dangerous bacteria cause food poisoning and can be very dangerous. It is important to understand how to properly bake frozen and pre-breaded chicken in order to protect your family from developing a food-borne illness.
Read the Instructions
The package you chicken comes in will include instructions on how to cook it correctly and safely. Follow these instructions carefully.
Do not increase oven times to try to speed up the process. This overcooks chicken on the outside and undercooks it on the inside, presenting an increased health risk. The instructions were designed and created for optimum safety and flavor.
Know How to Place Chicken on a Pan Correctly
Larger pieces of chicken should be on the outer edge of the baking sheet or pan. The edge of the pan gets hotter than the interior of the pan. Placing larger pieces on the outer edge will help the chicken to bake more evenly.
Spray Chicken with Oil to Make It Crispier
If your breading tends to be a little soft or soggy, lightly spray cooking oil over the chicken breading before baking. This will help the breading to get crispier as the oil simulates frying without completely submerging the chicken in oil. You can use olive or grapeseed oil if you want a healthy option.
Allow Plenty of Time to Preheat
Your oven must be fully preheated for consistent baking. Allow it ample time to heat up completely before adding your chicken.
Rotate the Pan
About two-thirds of the way through your cook time, rotate the pan 180 degrees. This helps the chicken to bake more evenly.
Check the Temperature
When the timer goes off, it is time to check the temperature of the chicken. Choose the largest piece if chicken and insert an instant meat thermometer into the thickest part of meat.
Insert it halfway through the meat to check the temperature. It should be 165 degrees or higher. If not, place the chicken back in the oven for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of your pieces, and check again.
When the chicken is 165 degrees or higher, check one of the center pieces to be safe. If the temperature of both pieces are 165 or higher, it is safe to eat.
Baking pre-breaded or frozen chicken is quick and easy, giving you more time to spend with the ones you love!
Check out our recipe for Captain Crunch Chicken below: