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Whenever I make chicken strips with bread crumbs it comes out rather moist and soggy and not crisp and crunchy. I cut the boneless skinless chicken breast into strips, mix them with some egg and oil, add some salt and pepper, then roll them around in the bread crumbs. I then use my George Foreman Grill and even on maximum temperature they're too moist. Why does this happen and how do I fix it?

This doesn't happen when I'm cooking chicken without the breadcrumbs so I think it has something to do with them. I am using Panko bread crumbs.

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The classic method of breading ("Wiener Schnitzel") is a three-step process:

  1. flour
    Only a thin layer: you can add salt or spices to the flour instead of or in addition to seasoning the meat.
  2. egg
    Lightly beaten (not foamy); let excess drip off well.
  3. breadcrumbs
    Either fresh or dried, the egg helps the crumbs to adhere. Lightly pressing the crumbs to the meat is optional.

But there is a fourth component that will ensure your success: fat
Yes, we are all trying to "eat healthy" and monitor our fat intake, but unfortunately fat plays an crucial role in good breaded food. Whether it's deep- or shallow-fried, the hot fat ensures a good heat transmission and quick setting of the breaded crust, thus locking moisture inside.
Your GF grill is an excellent kitchen tool, but defeats the purpose: Your crust can't bake quick enough in the dry heat and touching the hot surface only partially. Combined with the heat from the grill and a significantly longer cooking time, the moisture that steams out of the meat will literally be drawn into the crust - leaving you with sub par results.

Save your GF for other uses and use a pan with some oil to fry your chicken.


Side note:
Some recipes for fried chicken recommend baking the floured chicken pieces in an oven to save fat. Note that a fried chicken is typically a two-step coating with an outer layer of flour, so slightly other rules apply.

Nevertheless, this method might be an option for you and worth a try, but don't expect the golden crust you get from traditional frying. I have used an oven with breaded meat, but typically with partially fried food, so that the breading already contained fat / oil from the first round of frying.

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One thing worth a shot is to dredge the chicken in flour before dipping in the egg.

Thoroughly dry the chicken first with paper towels, then dredge in flour. Dip the chicken in egg and let the excess drip off. It's possible that the moisture in the egg is contributing to the sogginess, so next time you could try a few nuggets waiting for a few minutes to let the egg dry a bit to get tacky before applying the breadcrumbs.

Another thing that might work well for you is to use panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) instead of regular crumbs.

  • @Stephie I suggest letting it dry a bit because it might ameliorate the sogginess. I'll edit the answer to suggest doing it both ways to see. – Jolenealaska Dec 17 '15 at 9:49

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