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Crunchy Sweet and Salty Chicken

Crunchy Sweet and Salty Chicken - an easy and super delicious meal that both grownups and kids love! The flavors in this chicken dish are fantastic!

In between preparing (and eating!) all of the different dishes we share here on A Family Feast, there are still many days when we simply cook for the sake of eating and not blogging! Our weekdays are like many other families – busy with work, school, homework, housework, after-school activities, errands to run, and appointments – and we just need a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will love.

So on days like that, we don’t cook anything fancy – just simple and delicious recipes like this Crunchy Sweet and Salty Chicken!

The recipe lives up to its name…chicken breasts are first coated with a mixture of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, then breaded with a combination of crushed Grape-Nuts cereal (for the crunch), brown sugar (for the sweet) and salt (you guessed it – for the salty). Bake the chicken for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the breasts and you’re done!

Crunchy Sweet and Salty Chicken - an easy and super delicious meal that both grownups and kids love! The flavors in this chicken dish are fantastic!

This recipe is so simple, but the flavors together are really fantastic and the chicken comes out moist and tender! We serve it with some wedges of lime, adding a bright kick of citrusy flavor that’s a perfect complement to this crunchy sweet and salty chicken! This chicken is also terrific served cold – so be sure to make some extra for leftovers!

We recommend making this crunchy sweet and salty chicken with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts which are juicier (and less expensive) than boneless, skinless breasts. This coating will also work well for other skin-on chicken pieces.

This recipe was inspired by one that I clipped from the pages of The Boston Globe newspaper many years ago. We’ve adapted it to this version printed here today.

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Crunchy Sweet and Salty Chicken

Crunchy Sweet & Salty Chicken - A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 medium to large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal slightly crushed with a mortar and pestle (or pulse for a second or two in food processor)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Pan spray
  • Lime wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and mustard. Slather this mixture all over both sides of each breast using a pastry brush.
  3. In a large bowl or high rimmed pie plate, place slightly crushed Grape-Nuts, brown sugar and salt and mix to combine.
  4. Place a breast in the Grape-Nuts mixture and turn, pressing to coat. Transfer breast to a 9X14 baking dish. Repeat for the other three breasts. Spray tops on each breast with a light coating of pan spray.
  5. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes depending on breast size. Poke with your finger, if it bounces back, it is done.
  6. Broil for a few minutes to further brown the tops if desired.
  7. Let chicken sit for 5-10 minutes. Slice the chicken from the breasts and serve with lime wedges.

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  1. I would have Never, EVER thought to use grapenuts for a coating but can totally see how that would work! I really dig the sweet and salty combo. This is going straight into my Favorites under “Recipes to try”.

    • Thanks Cara…I heard years ago in a marketing class that I once took that Shake & Bake is made from leftover Grape-Nuts crumbs with seasonings added. That gave us the idea! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  2. What a great idea to use Grape Nuts! My kids love any kind of chicken. This is a great idea!

  3. This chicken looks great!! I love an easy weeknight meal that is still delicious. Crunchy, salty, and sweet – you’ve touched on everything!

  4. I love this recipe Martha. Love the mix of mayo and mustard and the Grape nuts for the coating. Pinning this to make soon.

  5. What a fantastic chicken coating!! I love the sweet and salty together! This is going on my must try dinner recipes for sure!

  6. Whoa! This chicken looks so good … Perfectly cooked!

  7. Hi Martha, just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe last night. I used chicken tenders, cut the baking time, and they turned out great. So Delicious! I can’t wait to make this for my chef son and his kids….Grandma finally has a something tasty and unique to show up My Chef! LOL

  8. Hi Martha! This sounds great and I can’t wait to try it. However, I don’t have any Grape-Nuts and can’t run out today (snowstorm in NY). Do you have any suggestions for a replacement? Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks Maura! The Grape-Nuts are really what gives the ‘crunch’ to this recipe! If you have regular bread crumbs you can still get the general flavor of the coating but it won’t have the same texture. Stay safe in the storm and thanks for visiting us today!

  9. Alexandra Kenney :

    After making this delicious recipe countless times, I figured I should comment! I love this recipe! It’s fast, easy, and delicious. Instead of mayo, I use plain Greek yogurt to subtract some calories. Thanks so much for sharing this, it’s become a staple for me!

    • Thank you so much for comment Alexandra! We’re very glad you are enjoying the recipe – and I’m going to try your yogurt idea the next time we make the recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  10. I made this dish and it was delicious. I ran the Grape Nuts through the food processor, but my husband said it was still TOO crunchy. Has anyone tried corn flakes or panko? Curious if they would be crunchy enough. We loved the salty and sweet though and I will be making this again! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Britt – I don’t think you’ll get the same crunchiness but definitely give either corn flakes or panko a try! Please let us know how it comes out!

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