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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Friday, January 30, 2009

Homemade Shake & Bake Chicken

Anytime we have a traditional or family favourite especially those from the days of being a young bride, I look for ways to improve it while still keeping the favour and feeling of the dish. Our fancy Sunday dinner when I was a young bride was Shake & Bake® chicken, mashed potatoes and niblet corn. I've talked about this before on this blog. This meal is still considered comfort food even though I have made a few changes. Quite often I serve this meal with baked potatoes because the oven is already on so making baked potatoes saves energy. The biggest change made was making my own coating mix for a fraction of the cost of store bought!

The Mix & Storing

Shake & Bake® is a simple, ready to use coating mix that comes with two packets of the mix and 2 plastic bags. When it first came out in the original flavour for chicken it immediately became quite popular. The concept was very simple - pour the mix into one of the bags, add the chicken pieces then shake to coat and bake the coated chicken.

The last time I looked and it has been quite some time ago Shake & Bake® was $2.49 for about 2 cups of mix or $1.25 per cup. The Bulk Barn sells a chicken coating for $1.49 per lb or 37¢ per cup. But if you make your own using homemade bread crumbs the cost per cup is 7¢ per cup. Not only is homemade chicken coating cheaper you can easily adjust the sodium and do a bit of tweaking to get exactly what you what. You are also eliminating any artificial flavourants, colourants and preservatives. The best part is whipping up a batch of this coating mix takes less than 10 minutes on a slow day! This coating mix is every bit as good if not better than store bought!

I use my KitchenAid® stand mixer to mix the ingredients thoroughly (1). This recipe makes 9 cups but for most uses only 1 - 1½ of the coating mix is needed so I vacuum seal in a 1.5 L mason jar (2) using my FoodSaver. This will keep the coating mix fresh until needed. The rest is put into a 1 L (quart) mason jar (3) for immediate use. About 1/3 of this jar was used for dinner but that could have been cut back just a little. I don't measure just pour a bit into a Ziploc® container then add as much chicken that will comfortably fit. Then I shake to coat well and remove the coated chicken to a waiting Silpat® lined baking sheet (4). I repeat this if needed adding a bit more coating mix if necessary.

Homemade Shake & Bake Chicken Coating
source:  Garden Gnome

4 c dry bread crumbs
4 c unbleached flour
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp organic cane sugar*
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried parsley
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp pepper
¼ c vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients except the oil into the bowl of a KitchenAid® stand mixer. Set to setting 1. Stir 1 minute. With the mixer still on setting 1 drizzle the oil into the mixture. Allow to mix well. Pour into jars for storing and vacuum seal.

Yield: 9 cups

*I have not tried this recipe using a sugar substitute but it should work fine although the substitute may not cause the same degree of caramelization.

Chicken Dinner

I use the coating mix just as you would store bought coating mix except I use a re-usable container to coat the coating in place of a disposable plastic bag. Anytime you an eliminate something disposable in the kitchen you save money and you lower your carbon footprint. Once the chicken is coated, I bake at 375ºF for 40 minutes or until juices run clear.
This mix is ideal for chicken (bone in or boneless) or you can use it for chicken fried steak.

Pictured is our updated shake & bake chicken using the homemade coating mix and served with baked potatoes instead of mashed for Wednesday's dinner. Occasionally I still serve this dish with mashed potatoes for old time sake. One thing that hasn't changed is the niblet corn although that is no longer store bought either. My husband gave the meal another thumbs up while enjoying this family favourite from our early married days.


20 food lovers commented:

Stephanie said...

Yum!! That is a wonderful recipe and I copied it down to try sometime soon.
BTW I nominated you for an award over at my site so come check it out!

tahtimbo said...

Thank you so much, I have been looking for a recipe for this. I will be using this very soon;)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Stephanie, I do hope you enjoy this great and frugal coating mix.

Thank-you so much for the award. I will stop by your blog to accept and leave a comment.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Tahtimbo, you will really like this recipe! Please leave some feedback after you tried it.

Anonymous said...

Do you use homemade bread crumbs, or store bought? Would Panko work? Thanks for this!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Anonymous and thanks for visiting. I use homemade bread crumbs because I usually have them on hand since I bake a lot of bread. You could use store bread crumbs as well. Panko would give a different texture than the traditional shake & bake texture.

LindaG said...

Just curious why you add the oil?
Wouldn't that all it to spoil, or do you use it quickly enough that you don't have to worry?
Also, do you crumble your bread to make bread crumbs, or...?
I'll definitely be saving this recipe. :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Linda, the oil helps with the baking later so get end up with a crispier coating. I usually make up 2 batches at a time. I store the coating mix in vacuum sealed mason jars in my walk-in pantry that is dark (unless in there) and is about 4ºF cooler than the rest of the house at 68ºF. I have not had a problem with spoilage.

I use left over pieces of homemade bread to make the bread crumbs as well.

I hope you enjoy the recipe :)

LindaG said...

Ah. Okay.

Thanks again for your patience and your expertise. :)

Anonymous said...

How do you vaccum seal the jars??? This sounds like a great recipe, thanks.

Garden Gnome said...

I vacuum seal using the jar attachment on the FoodSaver vacuum sealer.

Anonymous said...

Can we use regular sugar or what sugar did you use. Just want to make sure I make the right thing.

NewsGal said...

If you do not wish to vaccum-seal, you could also freeze the mixture, either in portions for each meal or in bulk, taking out what you need for each meal.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Anonymous, I used organic granulated sugar. You can use regular white sugar if you wish.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi NewsGal, and thanks for visiting. Thanks for the tip. The reason for vacuum sealing is to eliminate using valuable freezer space, something some do not have.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this shake and bake mix i will try it soon.

Anonymous said...

while i appreciate all the questions, has anybody else made the recipe and commented?

Caroline said...

I made this tonight when I realized I didn't have the store-bought Shake and Bake. It turned out really well. The only thing I changed was replacing half the sea salt with seasoning salt. Makes a big batch, I used 1 cup to coat 8-9 pieces(bone-in)which was a little too much. Definitely a keeper. Thanks!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Caroline and thanks for visiting :) I'm glad you found it useful. This is a rather versatile recipe with respect to the salt. I've substituted garlic salt or pepper, lemon pepper or even home made taco seasoning depending on what I have planned to go with the chicken. Enjoy :)

Pat E said...

This was great. I stored the unused portion in the freezer and just take out what I need. I also use plastic containers instead of plastic bags....