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I want to make my own shake and bake at home. The shake and bake you buy at the store is full of unpronounceable, non-organic ingredients and seasoning.

I'm looking to make a good crust out of something that has whole grains any suggestions?

Oh p.s. this is for Chicken.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 17 down vote accepted

The way restaurants do it is simple, straightforward, and also very easy to make organic by using organic ingredients.

Standard 3-bowl breading

1) Bowl One: Seasoned flour -- flour, salt, pepper, and seasonings (for me: thyme, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley flakes)

2) Bowl Two: Egg wash -- Beaten egg with a 1-2 TBSP milk per egg yolk added

3) Bowl Three: Panko (or other bread crumbs) -- alternately, add some salt, pepper, and seasonings to them

Procedure: Dredge the item to bread through the bowls in order, then repeat if desired to build up a thicker layer. You only need to change your seasonings to switch from breading chicken, fish, or even doing fried green tomatoes.

If you make your own bread and breadcrumbs, the ingredient list will read: flour, water, milk, eggs, yeast, salt, and spices. Hard to get more straightforward than that!

It's simple, fast, and works beautifully every time. Here's why it's the best way: the flour sticks to the wet surface of your item, leaving a dry, starchy surface for the egg wash to adhere to. The egg wash allows the panko to stick. For the next layer, the flour fills in the gaps between bread crumbs and absorbs residual moisture from the egg wash.

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Sounds great! Thanks Bob. –  chrisjlee Jun 16 '11 at 14:43
    
How to get from 1 to 3 without getting your hands dirty is another question altogether :) –  BaffledCook Aug 14 '11 at 13:16
    
why the milk in the eggs? –  Dan Aug 14 '11 at 15:17
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@BaffledCook: Use latex gloves; it's what we do at work. Oh, and use one hand for wet ingredients, and the other for dry. –  BobMcGee Aug 14 '11 at 16:24
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@Dan : milk has sugar (lactose) in it, which will promote the browning. You don't necessarily need it, but thinning out the eggs with a little liquid keeps you from getting too thick of a coating (as too much egg on there creates a slip plane, so the coating peels off when you go to eat it) –  Joe Jun 20 '12 at 16:28
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Panko, flour, spices (oregano, cayenne). Dredge through a beaten egg, then though the panko mixture. Amazing the government doesn't make them put a "For god sakes, you can make this yourselves!" warning label on it.

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For any gluten-free people out there, Quinoa Flakes work great as a replacement for panko.

Follow all the other advice here about three stage breading, but substitute gluten-free flour for the first step and Quinoa Flakes instead of panko.

This is how I made my chicken for Chicken Parmesean and it turned out wonderfully!!

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BobMcGee has explained the basic breading technique, but as you specificslly asked about whole grains, you may wish to make some minor adjustments.

You could use whole wheat flour for the first bowl, but it should be a very little amount (you actually want to shake any loose flour off before moving to the egg wash, and then letting the egg wash drip free befor going to the breadcrumbs). You would get more fiber using a replacement for the panko. Personally, I use whatever is on hand that I can crush into crumbs easily. This includes crackers (cheezits work great) or most cereals. For your whole grain concern, I'd consider some sort of a whole grain cereal, crushed. The bits at the end of a box are ideal for this, but if you are cooking for more than one person, you'll likely need a cup or more, depending on how finely you make the crumbs.

I would think that any flaked cereal (eg, wheaties) would work. (I've never used them myself, I typically use corn flakes), mAyve something like fiber one (i think that's the name of the one that looks like little twigs. I wouldn't recommend grape nuts, and I'm not sure of how shreaded wheat might work.

Common additions to the breadcrumb layer include chopped nuts or grated hard cheeses, but I have a feeling that the cheeses might not stand out with the nuttier flavors of a whole grain cereal, and the nuts wouldn't be as noticable, either.

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That's great advice as well. Thanks Joe. –  chrisjlee Jun 16 '11 at 18:17
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