I am usually intrigued whenever chicken or fish is “encrusted.” It makes the protein seem so special that it’s got its own protective armor of flavor. Usually putting a crust around something requires the right balance of oven temperature and cook time. You need to crisp up the outter layer without drying the rest of the thing out.
Luckily, this recipe for hummus crusted chicken is so easy that really anyone could do it. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t form a true crust (ie: nothing cracks or shatters as you cut through the chicken), but I think we can all agree that “hummus crusted chicken” just sounds much cooler than “chicken with hummus”. I’m a big fan of making chicken sandwiches that use hummus instead of mayo – and if you swith the regular bread for flatbread, ooh boy. This is similar, but by heating it up and removing the bread it’s becomes dinner-y. The recipe says to go with either paprika or sumac. I couldn’t decide so I tried one on each chicken breast, and I think I preferred the sumac. I used a garlic flavored hummus, but if you use regular (ie: classic flavor), I would recommend adding a little garlic to the dish…but that’s one extra step…so just do what I did from the get-go. If you do that, you are literally just slapping hummus on chicken and throwing it in the oven. Your entire meal is done in 30 minutes and you’re not really dirtying any dishes.
In addition to being a nice little topping for the chicken, the hummus mixes with the lemon juice and then some of it slides off the chicken a bit to make a nice sauce for the veggies or rice you serve it with. This part is key, so that’s why I recommend being very generous when putting that layer of hummus on top of the chicken. You may think you’re being a little heavy handed, but I’m guessing it’s just right.