Growing up, my mom always made a really nice dinner on Sunday. It usually consisted of a pot roast, a pork roast or some form of baked chicken. At leas once a month she would make this Baked Soda Cracker Chicken.
This recipe is so nostalgic for me. I can still see my mom cutting up whole chickens over the kitchen sink on Sunday morning and then dipping them in the butter and crackers that she usually asked me to crush for her.
Back before Ziploc bags were a thing we crushed the crackers by rolling them out with a rolling pin on a cutting board. My mom would then move them into a pie tin and add salt and pepper before starting to dip and bread the chicken.
Now-a-days, when I make it, I use a large gallon size bag and crush the crackers inside of it and then just add salt and pepper to them in the bag and use the bag as the container for dipping. It works great.
Once you have dipped the pieces of chicken in butter and then the soda crackers, you place them on a baking sheet, and bake them for about 2 hours in a 350 degree oven.
They come out slightly golden brown and go perfectly with mashed potatoes and gravy or steamed rice and gravy.
The gravy is very easy to make from the pan drippings. I pour a cup or two of water on to the pan after I remove the chicken and use a spatula to scrap up all the flavorful drippings.
After I get all the drippings up, I carefully pour it all into a saucepan. Once it comes to a boil, add a little more water (depending on how much gravy you want to make) check it for flavor (add a little chicken bullion if you don’t think it is strong enough), and then whisk in a mixture of cornstarch and water or flour and water to thicken it into a gravy. If you use flour you need to let it simmer for about 10 minutes once it is the thickness you want to cook out the starch-y taste.
Any cut of chicken works great for this recipe. My kids love thighs and drumsticks so I make them most often, but my favorite are bone in breast with this recipe. This recipe also works with bone-less thighs or breasts but you need to reduce the cooking time by 30-45 minutes or they will be dry.
- 4-5 pounds of bone-in chicken drumsticks, thighs, breast or combination of all three, I prefer to take the skin off, but if you like skin you could leave it on.
- 1 sleeve of soda crackers (approx 40-45 crackers)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put crackers into a large Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. (approx ½-3/4 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper
- Set up a dipping station with the bowl of melted butter, bag of crushed soda crackers and a large cookie sheet to place the dipped pieces on for baking.
- Take first piece of chicken and dip it in melted butter, then shake it in the crushed crackers. Place it on the cookie sheet. Repeat steps with each piece of chicken
- Bake chicken for 2 hours on 350 degrees. (Remember if using boneless chicken you will only need to cook it for 75-90 minutes.)
- Once chicken is cooked you can make gravy if you desire. Remove chicken from baking pan and pour a couple cups of water onto the pan. Use a spatula to scrap all the drippings off the pan. These give lots of great flavor to the gravy. Once you have all the drippings scraped up, carefully pour the liquid into a sauce pan. Add a little more water if you want to make more then two cups of gravy. Check the flavor to see if it is strong enough. If not add some chicken bullion or salt to taste.
- Bring it to a boil and then combine 2-3 tbsp of constarch or ¼-1/3 cup of flour (depending on how much gravy you are making) with about ⅓-1/2 cup water, whisk it to get out lumps and then slowly whisk it into the boiling gravy liquid. It should thicken, If you want it a little thicker add a little more. If you are using flour, once you have it to the thickness you prefer, it will need to simmer for about 10 minutes to get the starch-y taste out and will need stirred often.
- Serve chicken and gravy with steamed veggies and mashed potatoes or steamed rice.