You can't have enough great chicken recipes, and this quick and easy recipe uses only a few ingredients and goes in the oven in about 10 minutes. Also known as Melt in Your Mouth Chicken (MIYM), it makes a moist and delicious easy dinner.
This recipe has everything. It's extraordinarily moist, has a great taste of Parmesan, and a slight crunchiness. Plus, it has a skill level of 2/10. Anybody can handle this easy dinner recipe.
This is a baked chicken recipe using an easy, tasty coating. The "inspired by" for today goes to Melt in Your Mouth Chicken Breast at Food.com.
While it is a top-rate recipe, I thought it needed a little crunch and some other small touches. But otherwise, a wonderful recipe.
The recipe starts with a base of some mayonnaise. Add some Parmesan and seasoning. Then coat some well-trimmed skinless boneless chicken breasts.
To add crunch, sprinkle all sides with some Italian bread crumbs. Bake and you're in chicken heaven.
The wife started chanting 5 and then changed Christmas dinner to this. I think she liked it. And so did I.
🐓What Is Melt in Your Mouth Chicken?
Melt in your mouth chicken has become an internet classic and is generally made with skinless boneless chicken breast coated with spiced mayonnaise and some parmesan cheese.
Substitutes are allowed, and I add a touch of bread crumbs for some crunch.
🐓Ingredients for Melt in Your Mouth Chicken
This recipe uses skinless boneless chicken breasts, which have "grown" in my lifetime. Once upon a time, we were talking 6-8 oz. Now mostly about 10-12 oz and occasionally a full pound.
Try to pick chicken that is all about the same size. The results overall will be better since they will cook more evenly. If you are cooking more than two, the larger breast should be to the outside of the pan.
If the chicken is thicker than ¾ inch, flatten some with a meat mallet.
A good quality mayonnaise is an excellent choice, and you may use a lower fat version. People worry about the taste, but even the "mayo haters" love it in this recipe—see the comments.
Miracle Whip will work nicely but will add a bit of a different taste.
Other possible bases for the coating are Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even cream cheese.
Some cheaper mayonnaise or another base will have more fluid and may not stick well. Also, applying it too thick will lead to the coating not sticking well.
Parmesan cheese is the most commonly recommended cheese—usually grated, but I prefer shredded.
Other cheeses like cheddar or Asiago can be used.
Panko-type bread crumbs will add some crunch. I prefer the Italian spiced bread crumbs but use what you want.
It is always tempting to add more of something you like. I like Panko breadcrumbs. But a LIGHT sprinkle. If you do more, you will have a "Panko Chicken," so let's be careful.
Seasoning salt, garlic powder, and black pepper, but modify to your taste.
👨🍳How To Cook Melt in Your Mouth Chicken
- Preheat oven
- Trim and pat dry 3-4 skinless boneless chicken breasts. If thick, thin to ¾ inch thick with a meat mallet.
- Mix mayonnaise, Parmesan and other ingredients for topping.
- Prepare cooking sheet with foil and a rack.
- Dry the chicken with paper towels and cover the chicken with a light coating of the topping.
- Give the chicken a light sprinkle of Panko bread crumbs.
- Bake for about 45 minutes until internal temperature is 165° but filp gentley with a fork at 20 minutes.
You can cook directly on PAM-covered foil, but it will have a soggy bottom. A rack will help prevent this.
I love cooking my chicken on a rack. You really need to get a rack. For a few dollars, you will become a much better cook. But get one that is "oven-safe." Some racks are cooling racks only and have a coating.
If your local store does not have them, Amazon will. I list a few in Cooking for Two Shop, but others will work.
If you have time, brining it will make the chicken more moist and tender.
The ratio for a brine is 2 cups of water and one tablespoon of table salt. Some people will add some brown sugar equal to the salt. Remember that all salt is not identical, and 1 teaspoon table salt = 1 ¼ teaspoon Morton kosher salt = 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
As little as 15 minutes makes a big difference. But you can brine for up to 2 hours if you want. This is a "heavy brine" in the amount of salt and matches the Cooks Illustrated suggestions. You may see longer brine times suggested, but please limit it to 2 hours maximum.
If you brine, be sure to gently wash off the salt. Also, instead of seasoning salt, use paprika in the coating.
I'm adding a suggested flip of the chicken halfway through the cooking. Some (not me nor many others) have problems with a soggy bottom.
A couple of possibilities occur to me. First, previously frozen chicken or older chicken can release more fluid. Also, too much or thinner mayo could contribute. Or nothing they did.
Either way, the flip should help those cases and won't hurt. Use a fork for the flip. Tongs may remove some coating.
Nothing sticks well to wet chicken, so be sure to dry the chicken before coating.
The mayonnaise needs to be of good quality. Cheap mayo will have more liquid.
The mayonnaise coating needs to be thin—too heavy will just melt off the chicken.
If the chicken is still partly frozen, it will release fluid.
Never pick up a coated or breaded meat with tongs—it will rip off the coating.
Food Safety Tips
Chicken should not be rinsed for food safety. It will splatter germs over your kitchen. For more details, please see Chicken… To Rinse or Not To Rinse?
Storage for 3-4 days refrigerated or 3-4 months frozen, but the crunchiness will suffer.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat oven to 375° convection or 400° regular oven. Trim and pat dry 3-4 skinless boneless chicken breasts. If thick, thin to ¾ inch thick with a meat mallet.
Mix in a medium bowl ½ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (freshly shredded or grated preferred), ¾ teaspoon seasoning salt (I used Lawry's), ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Prepare a cooking sheet with aluminum foil (to help clean up) and a rack. The rack will help crispness all around. You can do without the rack, but the bottom will not be crispy. Give the rack a good spray of PAM. If you don't have a rack, they can go directly on PAM sprayed foil.
Dry the chicken with paper towels. Dip the chicken in the mayonnaise Parmesan mixture. Be sure to get all surfaces coated. Finger use is allowed, but be sure to wash well after. Note: keep the coating light.
Lightly sprinkle with some Italian bread crumbs on both sides. You are not coating them but just adding some crispy and flavor—about ½ cup for four breasts.
Bake until an internal temp of 165°. This will vary by oven but mainly by the size of the chicken. At 20 minutes into baking, flip the breasts with a fork. The total cooking time of about 40 minutes for medium to large. 45 minutes for huge. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Mayo Parmesan Chicken AKA Melt in Your Mouth Chicken
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts trimmed
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese - grated - fresh preferred
- ¾ teaspoon seasoning salt - Lawry’s
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup Italian Panko bread crumbs - Very light coat
- Preheat oven to 375° convection or 400° regular oven. Trim and pat dry 3-4 skinless boneless chicken breasts. If thick, thin to ¾ inch thick with a meat mallet.
- Mix in a medium bowl ½ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (freshly shredded or grated preferred), ¾ teaspoon seasoning salt (I used Lawry's), ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Prepare a cooking sheet with aluminum foil (to help clean up) and a rack. The rack will help crispness all around. You can do without the rack, but the bottom will not be crispy. Give the rack a good spray of PAM. If you don't have a rack, they can go directly on PAM sprayed foil.
- Dry the chicken with paper towels. Dip the chicken in the mayonnaise Parmesan mixture. Be sure to get all surfaces coated. Finger use is allowed, but be sure to wash well after. Note: keep the coating light.
- Lightly sprinkle with some Italian bread crumbs on both sides. You are not coating them but just adding some crispy and flavor—about ½ cup for four breasts
- Bake until an internal temp of 165°. This will vary by oven but mostly by the size of the chicken. At 20 minutes into baking, flip the breasts with a fork.
- The total cooking time of about 40 minutes for medium to large. 45 minutes for huge. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
My Private Notes
- Try to use chicken of about the same size. If over ¾ inch thick, flatten it out a bit with a meat mallet.
- Be sure to pat dry the chicken. Very dry. The coating will stick better.
- Keep the coating light and bread crumbs light. You may not need all the coating.
- I added a flip in the middle of the recipes. Some appear to need it. Use a fork, please. Not mandatory.
- Miracle Whip, Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even cream cheese can be used.
- Obviously, an easy recipe to adjust.
- Common problems: Not drying enough, too much coating, too many bread crumbs, cheap mayonnaise, previously frozen chicken will release more fluid.
- Be sure to cook to the final internal temperature of 165°.
- Storage for 3-4 days refrigerated or 3-4 months frozen but the crunchiness will suffer.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editors Note: Originally Published December 12, 2012, It has been buried on the blog for a while and needed to see the light of day. The pictures are re-edited. The text is re-written and buffed up.