Fried chicken is one of those things I only get to eat once or twice per year, usually at family parties.
But I look forward to it because, in my opinion, chicken was meant to be fried. The crispy golden breading that comes from immersing the chicken into a pool of smoking hot oil goes perfectly with the moist, rich texture of the meat.
Sadly, because it’s too high in fat, in my house we don’t eat legitimately fried chicken. I remember one time I burned the dinner so I went out and bought some Popeye’s chicken. My wife simply refused to eat it.
But this recipe is lower in fat, doesn’t require a deep fryer or a dangerous pan full of hot shortening, and still results in a crispy delicious chicken.
Although I love to eat fried chicken for dinner, what I love even more is wrapping the leftover chicken in wax paper the next day and bringing it on a picnic. This recipe is suitable for both.
I served this oven fried chicken with some smashed potatoes and with a red cabbage cole slaw (recipe to follow) to round out a perfect summertime dinner.
Oven Fried Chicken
1 Chicken, cut into 8 peices
1/4 cup Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Granulated garlic
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Sea salt
1/4 tsp Fresh cracked black pepper
1/3 cup Margarine (or butter for the truly indulgent)
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Rinse chicken peices and pat dry with paper towels. In a bowl, combine flour, paprika, gran garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken peices so that they are completely covered with seasoned flour mixture. If you prefer, you can use the “Shake and Bake” method by putting all the dry ingredients into a large plastic bag, then putting the individual chicken peices in the bag, sealing it and shaking it around so that each peice is completely covered with the coating. You will get the same result.
2. Place margarine in a 9″x13″x2″ casserole pan and place in oven. When melted, remove from oven and arrange chicken peices in the bottom of the pan, skin side down. Return to oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, turn peices over and bake another 15 minutes.
Red Cabbage Cole Slaw
4 cups Red Cabbage (about 1/2 head)
1 Carrot, peeled
1/2 White onion
1/2 Green bell pepper, ribs and seedes removed, fine dice
1/2 cup Reduced fat Mayonnaise
1 TBS Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Granulated sugar
1 tsp Whole celery seed
1/4 tsp Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1. Use a box grater to grate the cabbage, carrot and onion into a mixing bowl then add the green pepper. In a separate mixing bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, celery seed and salt.
2. Combine the dressing and the cabbage mixture and toss together with a spatula until it has a consistent texture. Season with pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving so that flavors can meld together.
Ironically, up until a few months ago, there was a fried chicken restaurant at the end of our street (It recently closed and was replaced with a cash for car titles business!). Whenever I would walk the dogs past there, I would linger a few moments so I could absorb the smells of the frying chicken.
A fella can dream, can’t he?