By: Jodie Shield, RD
You may have noticed that I have devoted my last few blogs to convincing you to eat family meals together. I wrote about the importance of Establishing a Dinner Routine, How to Improve Your Child’s Eating Behavior at the Dinner Table, and I offered a Week Night Survival Menu: Last-Minute Lasagna. Many of you have told me that you are committed to eating together as a family. Now here comes the but . . . sometimes your kids, especially teenagers,are not so enthusiastic. No worries. Let me share with you my secret weapon. It’s a recipe that I ran across years ago and have tweaked it to perfection. It’s better than fried chicken! My family calls it Ritz Cracker Chicken. Whenever I want everyone home – even my college kids – all I have to do is tell them I’m making Ritz Cracker Chicken, and every seat is taken at our kitchen table.
To lighten things up, and save me precious time, I always have our meat department remove the skin from the chicken – there’s no extra charge. However, make sure they leave the bone-in as it adds to the savory flavor. My family loves dark meat, so I use chicken thighs and drumsticks, but chicken breast works well too. I also like to use whole-wheat Ritz Crackers because it does add a little extra fiber. This recipe is not exactly what I would consider “low-calorie” or “low-fat.” However, compared to the original recipe, I have reduced both by half!
I know my kids are reading my blogs and will back me up on this recipe! So what have you got to lose? Give my secret weapon recipe a try and let me know what your family thinks!
Ritz Cracker Chicken
Serves 4 -6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
8 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 cup whole-wheat Ritz Crackers, crushed (about 1 sleeve or 35 crackers)
1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Dip each chicken thigh first in melted butter then dredge through the crushed cracker crumbs. Coat each piece well; shake off any excess crumbs.
- Place the chicken in a large baking dished coated with nonstick cooking spray or small amount of melted butter. Be careful not to crowd the chicken.
- Bake for at least 60 minutes. If you like your chicken crispy cook about 20 minutes more.
Nutrition Information per thigh:
29 grams protein
9.5 grams carbohydrate
1 gram dietary fiber
23 grams fat
10 grams saturated fat
187 milligrams cholesterol
207 milligrams sodium