Oven-Fried Shrimp

Oven-Fried Shrimp
Large Shrimp (26 to 30 shrimp per pound) are essential here. Lay's Kettle Cooked Original is our favorite brand of potato chips. Panko is a Japanese-style bread crumb available in most grocery stores. Instant polenta is available in the international section of most supermarkets.

2 cups panko bread crumbs
(see note)
cup instant polenta
(see note)
1 teaspoons paprika
teaspoon cayenne pepper
cup vegetable oil
2 cup potato chips (about 2 ounces), crushed to fine crumbs
cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  1. Adjust oven rack to upper position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss Bread crumbs, polenta, paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and oil in microwave-safe bowl until well coated. Microwave crumb mixture until golden brown and crisp, 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time. Stir potato chips into crumb mixture, then transfer to shallow dish. Spread flour in second shallow dish. In third shallow dish, whisk eggs until evenly combined.
  2. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and season with salt. One at a time, coat shrimp lightly in flour, dip in egg mixture, then dredge in crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Arrange breaded shrimp inch apart on wire rack set inside rimmed backing sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  3. Spray shrimp with cooking spray and bake until crumbs are deep golden brown and shrimp are just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Serves 4.
Note: The five minutes (or so) it takes to cook these shrimp isn't enough time for the breading to turn brown and crisp in the oven. We discovered that toasting the instant polenta and panko in the microwave gave them a head start and ensured a crisp coating on the shrimp.

Building a Better Breading
Three unlikely ingredients combine to make the perfect coating for our Oven-Fried Shrimp.

Panko Crumbs
Light, crisp Japanese-style bread crumbs act as a foundation for the crunchy coating

Instant Polenta
Instant polenta adds corn flavor without being too chewy.

Potato Chips
Crushed potato chips add even more crunch and give the coating a great "deep-fried" flavor.