I love preparing unique recipes and I enjoy sharing them with others.
Flamin' Hot Cheetos and Ranch Chicken Dish
I hear the same thing from just about everybody these days: "I'm tired of eating the same old thing." Well, let me help you with that!
Flamin' Hot Cheetos are awesome. They may have a bad reputation, but that's because kids are addicted to them. They're even banned in schools because, like most chips and junk food, they are unhealthy when eaten in large quantities, and because janitors are tired of cleaning up the bright red residue that can come from these tasty crunchy goodies.
So, if your kids are into these snacks or if you want something different to make for supper, then try this recipe for baked chicken with Flamin' Hot Cheetos and ranch dressing. It's tasty and, with only three ingredients, pretty easy to make, too. Enjoy!
(Note: Also, though most spicy foods will sort of "mellow out" in the fridge, this is not true with this recipe. If anything, it will get hotter by the time you reheat and serve it as leftovers. You've been warned.)
- 1/4 cup crushed Flamin' Hot Cheetos for every piece of chicken
- 1/4 cup ranch dressing for every piece of chicken
- Chicken, any type you'd like (breast, cutlet, thighs, etc.)
1. Preheat Your Oven
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Note that you don't need to grease your baking sheet or pan, because Cheetos have plenty of oil in them already.
2. Crush Your Cheetos
Next, you're going to crush your Cheetos up so that they can easily coat your chicken. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Blender. Place the chips into a blender.
- Place into a bag. You can also put your Cheetos in a freezer Ziploc-style bag and crush them by using a rolling pin or a meat tenderizer.
- In a bowl or plate. I usually just pour them into a bowl (a pie pan, plate, or anything flat will also work) and smash them with a bottom of a very sturdy glass or cup. If you do it this way, push the glass down and then rock it from side to side to grind it.
Note: Do not pulp these guys to the point that they're powdery—you'll want them still crumbly. See pics in this article for reference.
3. Coat Your Chicken
Now, you'll coat your chicken.
- First, coat both sides of your chicken by first dipping your chicken pieces thoroughly into a bowl of ranch dressing.
- Then, cover the ranch-dipped chicken with the crushed Cheetos by dipping it into your separate bowl of Cheetos.
4. Bake and Enjoy!
You're all set to bake them! Take your red-coated chicken pieces and place them onto a baking sheet or pan (as mentioned, you don't need to grease these). Use the following times for baking:
- 20-30 minutes for boneless breasts
- 40-50 minutes for thighs
- 35-40 minutes for drumsticks
- 30-40 minutes for wings
- 30-40 minutes for bone-in breasts
Note: Bake times may vary according to oven, and you know your oven better than I do! Just make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through.
Bonus Tips: Variations
The number of ways you can make this dish is really endless! Some tips:
Instead of Flamin' Hot Cheetos:
- You can try this with pretty much any kind of chips or crackers. I've used Funyuns, Doritos, and even those Chicken in a Biscuit crackers.
- If you don't have enough of the chips or crackers, add in a handful of plain cornflakes, rice cereal, or plain old dried bread crumbs if you have them. This is a great way to use up that last handful of chips that have gone stale.
- Note: I wouldn't recommend the kettle-cooked types of chips or anything that is super crunchy or harder. They might be rather hard to crush.
Instead of Ranch:
- The ranch dressing is also optional. You can use anything, from Italian dressing to plain old mayonnaise or sour cream.
- Just make sure you use enough of it to get every bit of the surface of the chicken (or pork chops, whatever you want to use!) That is how the chips or cracker mixture is going to stick to your meat.
Be creative and have a blast!
Did you make this and love (or hate) it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
© 2013 Georgie Lowery