Miracle Whip (Recipe: panko-crusted baked chicken)
Updated September 2010.
Each year in August, I confess my sins -- well, the worst of my culinary sins -- and ask your forgiveness.
I love Miracle Whip.
There. I've said it.
First-time readers of The Perfect Pantry might attribute my love for this guiltiest of guilty pleasures to temporary insanity or summer heat stroke.
I've been a four-seasons Miracle Whip lover, all year round, year after year, since long before my friends and I gave each other Miracle Whip facials in junior high school.
Miracle Whip Dressing -- by law it can't be called mayonnaise, because it contains vinegar and sugar -- was invented by Salem, Illinois, restaurant owner Max Crossett, who sold the formula to Kraft Foods in 1931 for a whopping $300. At Kraft, the salad dressing was mixed in a new type of emulsifying machine, nicknamed "Miracle Whip", which ensured that the ingredients would become thoroughly whipped and blended. Kraft introduced its new product at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933, where it was an instant success. And thanks to its long shelf-life and low price, Miracle Whip salad dressing remained a success throughout the Depression years.
While Miracle Whip is no all-natural product, the list of ingredients contains nothing I can't identify: water, soybean oil, vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, sugar, salt, enzyme modified egg yolks, mustard flour, artificial color, potassium sorbate as a preservative, paprika, spice, natural flavor, dried garlic, beta carotene (color). The order of ingredients (which indicates the percentage of total content) has changed a bit since last year, giving me hope that one day soon Kraft will eliminate the HFCS.
Once opened, Miracle Whip must be stored in the refrigerator, where it will keep almost indefinitely. The taste is both sweeter and brighter than homemade mayonnaise. Miracle Whip comes in "light" and "fat-free" versions as well, but I never use them; I much prefer the taste of the real thing, even if that thing isn't real mayo.
A bit of Miracle Whip smoothes the taste of pesto and guacamole. You can substitute MW for all or part of the mayonnaise in many recipes.
See you next year, when once again I promise to confess my (culinary) sins.
Now, what's your guilty pleasure?
Panko-crusted baked chicken
Great for picnics, or chopped up in a crunchy summer salad. Serves 6.
1-1/4 cup panko
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 Tbsp Miracle Whip
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Few drops of hot sauce, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloin removed, all fat trimmed
Preheat oven to 450°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
Place panko in a pie plate or other flat-bottom bowl.
In a mixing bowl, combine Miracle Whip, cheese, mustard, hot sauce and black pepper, and stir. Dip the chicken breasts into the mixture, and then roll them in the panko, pressing lightly to make sure the crumbs adhere.
Place on the prepared sheet, and bake for approximately 20 minutes, turning once, or until the chicken is cooked through and the panko is browned. Serve hot, room temperature or cold.
Other recipes that use Miracle Whip:
Mayonnaise cake, from Recovered Recipes
Crab cakes with lemon-garlic aioli, from Kirsten's Recipes
Tangy broccoli salad, from Noshtalgia
Chicken divan, from The Spiced Life
Chicken salad, from Noble Pig