Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Baked Fried Chicken

I like fried chicken, but I never deep-fry anything at home. I’m much keener on baked versions of the dish for homemade dinners, to be honest, but some of them aren’t as good as others. The first time I made this recipe from Our Life Uncommon, I simply sprayed the baking sheet with oil instead of using the amount of butter recommended – it seemed like too much. But then the delicious coating stuck to the sheet instead of to the chicken, and I knew I should have listened. Even then, it was already good enough that I wanted another go at it. So I made it a second time a few weeks later, using margarine instead of butter so it would be lactose-free, and it was just perfect. This chicken is crisp and well-seasoned (I reduced the amount of paprika a bit, though), and everyone here loved it. It makes the kitchen smell fantastic! I don’t usually buy spice mixes, but this one was worth it just for this dish. The recipe below is my version, which has more precise quantities than the original, and the addition of lemon to the milk (since that’s closer to buttermilk, the classic to marinate fried chicken). The first time, I used the juice of my giant Meyer lemon, but a Eureka lemon will do, and you could even omit it.

The quantities below make 4-6 generous servings. The first time, I served it alongside roasted vegetables and a chickpea salad; the second time, I made a corn and tomato salad to accompany it.

2 lbs. chicken tenders
juice of half a lemon
about 1 cup of lactose-free milk
4 Tbsp. margarine (or butter), cut in pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. Season-All
1 tsp. paprika

In a large bowl, mix the lemon juice and the milk. Put the chicken in the mixture and add milk to cover if needed. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Line a 9”x13” baking pan with tin foil and place the margarine pieces in it. Melt the margarine in the preheated oven, then make sure it is spread evenly around the pan.

In a small bowl, mix the flour and spices. Shake excess milk off of chicken and completely coat each piece with the seasoning mix.

Place each piece of chicken in the pan. Cook for 20 min. Turn each piece of chicken and continue cooking for 15 more minutes, or until cooked through.

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