April 6th, 2009

honey bunches of oats chicken and macaroni n’ cheese

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

there’s no shortage of fried chicken joints where i live, but my favorite kind will always be homemade. since the first time we had “corn flakes chicken,” i’ve been searching for new and interesting ways to fry delicious things. after trials with several different cereals (cap’n crunch, no crunchberries, thank you, and frosted mini chex – too sweet), i’ve settled on honey bunches of oats. it’s got the perfect amount of crunch, a good sweetness, and it tastes great cold when you’re looking for something to gobble down at 2 am.

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

the assembly line: breading and frying chicken can be an extremely messy task, and my one piece of advice is to constantly clean your workstation and keep your hands clean and dry. the worst thing you can do is get globs of egg and flour in the cereal breading. trust me, taking your time here can make a world of difference once you’re ready to start frying.

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

the key to flouring your chicken is to keep the coating very light. pat off any excess flour so there’s a thin even coating. if the flour layer is too thick, dipping it into the egg will get you clumps of egg-flour glue that will drip right of the chicken, putting you back where you started. keeping both the flour and egg layers thin ensures you get a strong glue to help the coating stick close to the chicken and stay on during the frying process.

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

can you find the chicken in this picture? here’s the giant tub of cereal i used to bread the chicken. since the flakes are a little large,  i dumped a bunch in a tupperware container and crushed it with my bare hands. i suppose you could also quickly pulse it in the food processor or pour some into a ziploc bag and crush it with a rolling pin but i like getting my hands in there. see all those tiny crumbs of cereal goodness? make sure you use them – the goal is to get each piece of chicken completely covered, and those tiny crumbs can fill in the gaps between the giant bunches and oats.

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

here’s a quick reminder that i’m also making macaroni n’ cheese. did you forget? this will also have breading on it. i can’t wait.

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

and now back to the chicken, post-fry. there are few sights as beautiful. i almost don’t want to ruin it by, you know, eating it. alas, i must. for blog purposes, you see. to backtrack a bit, i fried up the chicken in vegetable oil, although you can use your fat of choice – if you’re a purist, maybe a tub of crisco is the way to go. for some reason though, crisco just weirds me out.

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

i mean, just look at this chicken. if you start seeing honey bunches of oats chicken on the menus of fancy restaurants soon, don’t freak out. embrace it.

honey bunches of oats chicken and mac n' cheese

honey bunches of oats chicken and macaroni n’ cheese
chicken recipe from mom, macaroni n’ cheese recipe from FoodNetwork.com. serves 4-6 people.

1 lb chicken (your choice of cut)
1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)
2 eggs beaten
several handfuls of honey bunches of oats cereal, roughly crushed
vegetable oil (or other fat) for frying

macaroni n’ cheese
kosher salt
vegetable oil
1 lb elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 quart milk
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, divided
1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)
12 oz gruyere, grated (4 cups)
8 oz extra-sharp cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 lb fresh tomatoes (4 small)
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (or panko bread crumbs)

1. get the macaroni and cheese started before you tackle the chicken: preheat the oven to 375F. drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. drain well.

2. meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. melt 6 Tbsp of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. while whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 Tbsp salt, pepper, and nutmeg. add the cooked macaroni and stir well. pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

3. slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. melt the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

4. for the chicken: pour oil into a large frying pan ( about 1/3″ up the side of the pan) on medium-high heat and allow to heat for several minutes. set up your fried chicken assembly line. take a piece of chicken, lightly coat in flour, dip completely in egg and roll in crushed cereal. place directly into hot oil.

5. flip chicken when piece browns and crisps on the bottom and cook until completely golden. repeat with remaining chicken. do not crowd chicken in the pan – the more chicken you put in, the lower the temperature of the oil goes, the more greasy the finished chicken is. set cooked chicken on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb excess grease. cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm until ready to eat.

27 Comments for honey bunches of oats chicken and macaroni n’ cheese - why not leave some love?

  1. Sarah says:

    This looks like an intriguing and delicious combination!

  2. Tracy says:

    my mouth is watering. no, my mouth is an oasis – and I have to close the page, or else I just might take a bite of my computer. Gross. Your picture, however….NOT GROSS…! Thanks for sharing. This will be made VERY soon at our house!

  3. Melissa says:

    I’ve always just stuck to the plain old bread crumbs for fried chicken. I think it’s time to experiment with other stuff. This would be a great start!

  4. Corrie says:

    What a great idea! I love Honey Bunches of Oats…and chicken…and Mac ‘n’ Cheese!

  5. AmyAnne says:

    So this looks amazing. No, more than amazing. Like, oh god, what’s more than amazing. I can’t even think.

    Look, I just have one problem here. I never learned how to fry. I have tried and I get it fried on the outside and raw on the inside. Please, direct me somewhere with a great tutorial on frying.

    If I can’t make this soon I don’t know what I’ll do. Please help me.

    • petebakes says:

      hi! if you’re worried about the chicken being too raw on the inside, i would try maybe a)adding a bit more oil and turning up the heat and b) popping it in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350F just to be safe. i’ve done this before myself.

  6. blimey!
    i nearly choked on my drool just then.
    that’s tomorrow’s dinner sorted.

  7. This is a great idea and is going on my to-make list! Have you ever tried coating your chicken in potato flakes, like the instant mashed potato stuff? Not so good for mash, but it makes for a nice “breading”. Also sometimes I use mayo as a binder instead of eggs. Thanks for the great idea!

  8. Sara says:

    That is pure comfort food. It looks great.

  9. Elyse says:

    Talk about one of my favorite comfort meals of all times. I adore fried chicken tenders. And I love that you use honey bunches of oats. How clever! I’m sure this adds not only great flavor but great texture. Can’t wait to try out your trick!

  10. nick says:

    The fact that you live so close angers me some every time I see you make something this tasty.

    FYI: Great trick for cooking chicken like this and not worrying about it being raw in the center – If you have a vacuum sealer use it to make a sous vide bag with the chicken inside and poach them at 160F (or whatever your target temp is) completely covered in water (you may have to weigh it down in the pot with a plate or something) for about an hour. Then they will be fully cooked (check with meat thermometer) and all you have to worry about in frying is getting them hot and putting a nice crust on there.

  11. patti says:

    holy blue-plate special, Batman! that looks deeeeelicious!

  12. Just wanted to tell you I am a big fan of your blog. I have so many of your recipies in my “things to make” bookmarks. Keep up the fab job 🙂

  13. I love using cereal to coat chicken. Never thought about using honey bunches of oats. Great touch.

  14. […] Honey Bunches of Oats Chicken – People have been using corn flakes for years now to coat chicken, but what about other breakfast cereals?!  I think I’m gonna try fruit loops for a psychodelic chicken experience. (@ Pete Bakes) […]

  15. Katie says:

    That chicken looks really crunchy and delicious – I’ve definitely got to try this. I’ve actually been meaning to ever since seeing someone cook with cornflakes once – cereal for dinner? Hell yeah! 🙂

  16. Amanda says:

    How about Cheerios?

  17. queeny says:

    It would be nice to know, on the honey bunches of oats chicken, an approximate cooking time please

  18. Suzanne says:

    What a great idea! It looks sooo tasty!

  19. meg says:

    How fun! I bet it is delicious!

  20. […] Teriyaki Chicken Skewers from Our Best Bites, Creamy Crab Pasta from The Persnickety Palate, Honey Bunches of Oats Chicken and Macaroni ‘n Cheese from Pete Bakes!, Olive and Rosemary Crackers and Garlicky Baked Fries from The Purple Foodie, […]

  21. Sjonea kassinger says:

    This recipe is great instead of frying however I made oven fryed chicken instead it came out super amazing!!

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