Nana’s Breaded Chicken

I’ve mentioned it before, but my Grandmother (Nana) is awesome. She has no written recipes and remembers most of them. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything she cooked that didn’t taste good. She emigrated from Sicily, Italy when she was a teenager. Sicily is actually the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It’s known for citrus, olives, olive oil, grapes, and wine.

She and my Grandfather (Poppy) were the ones who first peaked my interest in cooking. I’d help them make fresh pasta, ravioli, and cheesecakes in their garage and make $20 – which when you’re 10, is a lot of money! They sold them to local restaurants. During my teenage years, I started writing their recipes down so that I could pass them down to my children (and so I could remember them myself!).

This recipe is based on Nana’s breaded chicken and is one of my mom’s favorite dishes. She actually requested Nana make for her past birthday dinner and it made me remember how much I enjoy it as well.

It also adds a simple technique to help keep your chicken moist and juicy – brining.

You’ll need:

  • Chicken pieces of your choice – you can use legs as I did in this post, chicken breasts, or even other bone in cuts
  • Salt
  • Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 c. Milk
  • 1 c. Breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
  • Pepper

To start, brine your chicken. Use 1/2 cup of salt to every quart of warm water. Stir the water/salt mixture to dissolve the salt and place your chicken in the brine for up to an hour in the fridge.

After an hour, drain and pat the chicken dry. Set aside while you prep the breading station. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.


In one container – I used pie pans – add the eggs, milk, thyme, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper. In the other, add the breadcrumbs with some salt and pepper.

Dunk the chicken in the egg mixture and then drop it in the breadcrumbs. Press them in so all areas of the chicken are coated in the breadcrumbs.

I like to bake anything breaded on a rack on top of the baking sheet, so that the hot air can circulate all the way around. This helps each part of the chicken to be crispy!

Bake for 45-60 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden and the chicken is cooked through. And eat!

Buon appetito!

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You brought tears to my eyes. I can’t believe you remembered! Memories mean a lot. I had no idea I passed that on. Here’s to many more! I love you more than your mother loves this recipe. Love, Nana

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