Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef (and dad) Ryan Scott knows well that family life is wonderful, but can be a very hectic business—stressing over mealtime shouldn’t add to the madness!
This heartfelt collection comes straight from his home kitchen’s regular rotation into yours. Reflecting Ryan’s colourful personality and practical approach, the recipes are kid-friendly and packed with clever hacks and pro tips for getting meals on the table (and cleaning up) quickly.
There are no fussy cooking techniques or long ingredient lists; instead, the focus is on family-centred meals for even the busiest of days—irresistible recipes like Turkey Reuben Meatloaf, Broccoli-Cheddar Bow Ties, and Naturally Sweet PB&J Pancakes. Even crowd-pleasing desserts like Everything-But-the-Kitchen-Sink Cookies and Butterscotch Marshmallow Squares remain delightfully simple, for minimal stress and maximum fun.
Cornflake-crusted fried chicken sandwiches
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes
Let me paint you a picture of this almost-too-good-to-be-true dish. So many things make this recipe amazing. There’s the tangy poppy seed coleslaw, the Old Bay mayonnaise (usually affiliated with po’boy sandwiches in Louisiana), and the sweetness from the King’s Hawaiian buns that bring harmony to the entire dish. Then there’s the chicken—marinated in pickle juice, rolled in cornflakes, then baked until crispy. It is over-the-top incredible . . . so much so that my clients request this recipe in mini-versions for fancy catered events, right next to foie gras and quail!
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 to 5 extra-sour dill pickles, sliced, plus ¾ cup brine from the jar
For the poppy seed slaw
¾ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1 small-medium head green cabbage, shredded (about 6 cups)
For the Old Bay mayo
½ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (not the low-sodium or salt-free version)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray generously with cooking spray.
Butterfly the chicken breasts by making a horizontal slice in the thickest part of the breast almost all the way through, then flipping the flap open. Press the breast down slightly with your palm to even it out at the cut. Put the butterflied chicken breasts in a shallow container and toss with the pickle juice, making sure they are all coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
MEANWHILE, MAKE THE SLAW: In a large bowl, whisk together the mayo, vinegar, poppy seeds, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. Refrigerate the slaw until the sandwiches are ready to assemble. (You could make the slaw the day before, too.)
MAKE THE MAYO: In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, and Old Bay. (The seasoned mayo can be prepared the day before, covered, and refrigerated.)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
4 cups cornflakes
4 King’s Hawaiian burger buns
COOK THE CHICKEN AND ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES: In a large zip-top bag, combine the flour and ½ teaspoon of the garlic salt. Give it a good shake to mix it thoroughly. In a large shallow container (like a glass baking dish) or shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining ½ teaspoon garlic salt. Pour the cornflakes onto a baking sheet.
Drain the chicken breasts and toss them in the bag with the flour. Seal the bag and shake until the chicken breasts are fully coated. One at a time, dip the floured chicken breasts in the egg mixture, then into the cornflakes. Using your palms, press the chicken down into the cornflakes to make sure you have a really good crunchy coating on both sides. Set the coated chicken breast on the prepared baking sheet and repeat to coat the remaining chicken. Give the coated chicken breasts a light mist of cooking spray on top. Bake the chicken until cooked through and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Immediately transfer the chicken to a wire rack to cool slightly and sprinkle them with a pinch of kosher salt per breast.
To assemble the sandwiches, first spread 1½ tablespoons of the seasoned mayo on each side of the burger buns. (You can toast the buns if you like, but I prefer the soft texture of the untoasted bun against the crisp chicken.) Arrange 5 or 6 slices of pickle on each bottom bun, and top the pickle slices with the chicken breasts. Scoop about ½ cup of the slaw onto each chicken breast and finish the sandwiches with the top bun. Give the sandwiches a gentle press to make sure they don’t fall apart while serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.