This was my answer to my internal dialogue wherein I asked myself if I was really going to make plain chicken breasts again for dinner. I gazed out my kitchen window and I also chided myself for not having used any of my fresh basil plants which I have kept alive through sheer force of will throughout the summer. I have pinched it and watered it and talked to it, but I haven’t really cooked with it. So, while I was giving myself a hard time about these things, the skeleton for this recipe emerged in my mind.
Breaded baked chicken dishes are usually disappointing unless you are a master fryer. They never seem to get crisp on the bottom and often end up soggy. Plus, grilling or pan sautéing chicken is so quick and handy. The trick was to combine the two…and use my basil.
So, my mind turned to the idea of preparing a crunchy topping instead of a messy breading and I came up with the idea for a savory granola. This recipe makes twice as much as you need for a four person meal. But I detest the notion of using “half” of a separated egg. This is not exactly logical but, you will find a million different ways to use this topping…basically on any meat for which you would like a breading but don’t want to fool with the mess of frying. It also makes a stellar casserole topping and, in fact, I used it for a crunch topping for a tuna noodle casserole and it was just perfect. It is simply a great and easy “All Purpose Crunchy Topping.”