My Oven Baked Mediterranean Chicken is deliciously moist, healthier than traditional fried chicken and very easy to make. The gorgeous Mediterranean herbs and flavours in the breading and sauce give this recipe a lovely twist. It’s particularly refreshing in the warmer months.
The secret to perfect ‘faux fried’ or oven baked breaded chicken is to use a roasting pan with a rack so that the breading stays intact. Once the chicken is breaded, place it carefully on the rack and the chicken will cook evenly on both sides without having to turn it.
The light, creamy cucumber sauce makes this dish really different and refreshing. Did you know that although cucumber is prepared and thought of as vegetables in most cases, it is actually a fruit? Botanically speaking, anything that develops from a flower and has enclosed seeds is considered a fruit. This includes avocado, beans, nuts, squash, tomatoes and yes, cucumber!
Cucumbers are amazingly versatile and work really well in so many recipes. Cucumber infused water is lovely in the summer. Simply slice up some cucumbers, place the slices in a covered jug of filtered water in the fridge and allow to infuse for an hour or longer. Finely chopped cucumbers add a lovely freshness to Harissa spiked couscous and of course they are lovely in salads – like My Easiest Tomato Salad Ever. They are the perfect compliment to light summer sauces like the one served with this Oven Baked Crispy Mediterranean Chicken too.
One of the things I love about my Oven Baked Crispy Mediterranean Chicken is that it reminds me of some of the wonderful dishes I ate on our visit to Greece a few years ago. Delicious served alongside your favourite potato salad and/or a green or tomato salad, it’s definitely comfort food but light enough to be perfect for the warmer weather.
Oven Baked Crispy Mediterranean Chicken
- 1 teaspoon mild vegetable oil
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1½ cups milk divided
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1½ cups breadcrumbs or Matzo meal
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika plus extra for garnish
- 1 clove garlic minced (or 1 teaspoon Very Lazy Garlic)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose plain flour
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- splash of lemon juice
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup finely diced cucumber
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C or 180° for a fan oven).
- You will need a roasting pan with a rack. I like to line the bottom of the pan with foil to make for easy clean up.
- Lightly brush the rack with a bit of vegetable oil.
- Whisk ¼ cup of the milk together with the Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and paprika in a medium bowl.
- Place the breadcrumbs on a plate.
- Add the basil and oregano to the breadcrumbs and mix well.
- Dip one piece of chicken at a time in the milk mixture and then the breadcrumbs and herbs, rolling and pressing the breadcrumb mixture in so that it sticks well.
- Carefully place each chicken breast on the rack in the roasting pan.
- Bake the chicken breasts for 35 minutes or until no pink remains inside and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for just a moment.
- Whisk in the flour and cook the roux for a minute or two.
- Gradually add the remaining milk, a bit at a time, until you have a relatively thick and creamy sauce.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
- Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice and the cucumber along with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the Oven Baked Crispy Mediterranean Chicken with the cucumber sauce spooned over top.
- Garnish with paprika before serving.
If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy Apricot and Almond Chicken.