Shake 'n Bake is a type of flavored breadcrumb mix from Kraft Foods. It gets its trademark name because of the way that you prepare chicken, namely, by shaking pieces of chicken in a bag filled with the breadcrumbs and then baking them, rather than frying them. Not only can you prepare your chicken with Shake 'n Bake in the typical fashion, you can do so in other ways, as well.
Tasty Marinades for Moisture
Before preparing your chicken pieces, moisten them so that the breadcrumbs stick to them. Although water alone will suffice, a marinade will add flavor to your chicken. In the refrigerator, soak your chicken pieces in a simple brine made with salt and spices or some salad dressing overnight before coating your chicken with Shake 'n Bake. Although marinating the chicken will make it juicier, this isn't necessary, and you can glaze the chicken in your favorite marinade, low-fat mayonnaise or tangy barbecue sauce before breading it. Cook the chicken immediately after breading it with Shake 'n Bake to prevent the crumbs from becoming soggy.
After coating your chicken with Shake 'n Bake, you can bake it in the oven or grill it on your barbecue to add a bit of smoky flavor to it. Grill whole pieces of the coated chicken or cut your chicken into small pieces to create chicken kabobs on skewers. Broiling the chicken can give it the flavor of grilling without a barbecue. If you wish to pan fry your coated chicken pieces, use a small amount of vegetable oil that is low in saturated fats like canola oil. Because the breadcrumbs add crispness to your chicken, you can remove any skin from the pieces before cooking to eliminate excess fat.
Seasoning Additions and Sauces
Shake 'n Bake mix already contains several seasonings and comes in a variety of flavors. You can also add some of your own favorite flavors to it by adding cayenne pepper for a kick or some fresh ground herbs like dill, thyme, sage, cumin or curry powder to the breadcrumbs prior to coating your chicken. Add some additional crunch to the chicken by mixing some crushed corn flakes or panko breadcrumbs in with the Shake 'n Bake mixture. Drizzle a bit of honey mustard dressing over the cooked chicken for extra flavor. You can also pour some spaghetti sauce over your cooked chicken to create an Italian-themed meal.
Shelf Life and Chicken Safety
Choose chicken labeled as "USDA certified organic" to ensure that it is free from antibiotics and hormones, recommends the Stanford University School of Earth Sciences. When cooking your chicken coated in Shake 'n Bake, check that the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit with a meat thermometer, advises Foodsafety.gov. Discard any Shake 'n Bake that has touched uncooked chicken. If you notice that your Shake 'n Bake smells unpleasant or has gone moldy, discard it. Shake 'n Bake breadcrumb mix generally lasts until the expiration date listed on the package or about one year in the pantry or even your freezer; set your freezer to 0 F. Chicken cooked with Shake 'n Bake should last around four days in the refrigerator, set to 40 F or colder, or four months in the freezer at 0 F.