What to do with sourdough heels?

From the freezer. I’ve used the same bag for two years! I just toss it back into the freezer empty to wait to soon be filled with more bread.

It may be a question that has never crossed your mind… but on the off chance that it has, here is my favorite answer: bread crumbs! I save all the end pieces (heels) of our bread loaves in a bag in the freezer and once the bag is full, I pull it out and throw them all in the oven. After ten minutes at 350F, I take the bigger chunks out and break them up smaller and then let them continuing toasting on a cookie sheet.

After they are fully dried out, I like to toss the chunks into the Ninja blender and make them into a fine bread crumb, however I’ve often just put them into a bag and rolled them over with a rolling pin also. The main thing to remember is that if they are steaming, they wont crumble well inside a bag or enclosed container because the steam is moisture. They will clump together. I suggest mixing the baked and dried bread chunks around on the cooking sheet until they stop steaming then crumble them.

Finely crumbled bread. A blender will work much better than a food processor will for this.

My favorite things to make with sourdough bread crumbs are baked breaded chicken and venison meatloaf. I will try to share the AMAZING venison meatloaf recipe soon, so that means today is breaded chicken!

It freezes great too! I like to make this ahead and freeze it in a single layer on a cookie sheet. After fully frozen I put it in a container or bag to freeze until I need a quick dinner some night.

After the bread crumbs are nice and fine, take 2 cups of crumbs per pound or so of chicken (I prefer small chunks of boneless chicken thighs) and add the seasoning. The smaller the chunks of chicken, the more bread crumbs you will need. Remember that all my measurements are always only approximate because I am AWFUL at measuring and rarely measure anything. It’s all about how it feels to me!

Definitely not kosher, I mix the meat and eggs with milk for the best crunchy coating.

Preheat the oven to 425F and coat the chicken in a mixture of eggs and milk, I prefer to let this sit while I prepare the crumb mixture. Roll the chicken in the bread mix and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crispy and brown and juices running clear. I love to add variations to the bread crumbs such as parmesan or onion pieces, my rule of thumb is always to just have fun with it!

Coated and waiting to bake.

BASIC BREADED CHICKEN RECIPE

2 cups of bread crumbs per lb of chicken

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon mixed seasoning (optional, I use a mix of chili powder, oregano, parsley, and celery salt)

CHICKEN

Cut into chunks and soak in 1 egg and 1 cup of milk per lb of chicken.

Stir crumb mixture until seasoning is evenly distributed. Roll coated chicken pieces in crumbs and place on greased cookie sheet (or line sheet with foil or parchment). Bake at 425F for 20-25 mins or until coating is browned and juices run clear. Enjoy!

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