Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Golden & Delicious Breaded Chicken

Good evening everyone! It's been a challenge over these last few weeks to adjust our cooking style to accommodate Maggie's sensitive digestive system. We have to be overly careful when we're picking recipes - making sure that every single ingredient will agree with her in the end. This means a lot of our discussions sound something like this:

Maggie: How about (recipe X)?
Tyler: What's in it?
Maggie: Chicken, arugula, alfredo, chives..
Tyler: The alredo is probably a no go
Maggie: Yeah...

(More browsing)

Maggie: How about (recipe X)?

And so it goes, again and again until we come up with three recipes that are bland enough to keep an angry gallbladder satisfied, yet do not compromise flavor to the point of cooking what amounts to boiled chicken. This because even harder when you start to have a craving for a particular food. For me, that food this week was fried (or at least breaded) chicken. The challenge was coming across a recipe that didn't fry in oil, baste in buttermilk or create some other creamy concoction to create a breading base for the chicken. This was surprisingly harder than it sounds. However, after a lot of searching, I came across tonight's recipe. Rather than using a creamy base, it uses a light dash of cooking oil to create a 'stickier' breadcrumb mixture. This mixture clings to the chicken with ease - eliminating the need for sticky, creamy bases. Does this compromise ruin the flavor? Let's find out:

The Recipe: Oven Baked Chicken
Original Recipe Found On: Eatingwell.com

What You'll Need:

4-5 Chicken Drumsticks (Skin removed)
1/3 Cup Breadcrumbs (Fine or as small as possible)
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 1/2 Teaspoons Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with cooking spray. Set aside.

Begin by mixing your breadcrumbs, paprika, salt and onion powder together in a large bowl. Next, add the oil, making sure to mix well. At first, the oil is going to cause a lot of clumping and not really want to disperse all that well. However, a little elbow grease and vigorous stirring with a fork should break up the clumps and eventually distribute the oil evenly throughout the breading mixture. If you feel the crumbs after this point, they should have a slight 'damp' feel to them and should cling fairly easily to your fingers.

Next, crack the egg into a medium bowl and whisk briefly with a fork. Set this bowl aside.

Just like any other breading recipe we've done on the blog - the easiest method of breading is assembly line style. Line up the bowls so the egg mixture is first, followed by the breading mixture. Place a plate or the rimmed baking sheet at the end of the assembly line and you're ready to get started.

Simply dunk the chicken into the egg mixture, making sure it is evenly covered. Allow the excess egg to drain off before rolling the chicken in the breading mixture.

I'll admit, this is the best breading I've managed to achieve since we started the blog. I've had many encounters with breaded chicken (and fish) and have had my share of horror stories (and some successes - but a lot of horror stories) about how badly some of the breading adhered to the meat. Tonight's method could not have been easier. The breading clung to the chicken with ease - a few quick turns in the bowl and everything was taken care of.

Simple repeat this process until all the drumsticks are covered. Place the drumsticks on the wire rack and into the oven. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the center of the thickest drumstick registers at 165 degrees on a digital thermometer. Serve with honey mustard sauce and enjoy!

The Results:

Surprisingly delightful! The breading mixture pack a lot of flavor without all of the extra mess or poor nutritional value that other breading can fall victim to. The chicken held a lot of moist flavor, while being boosted by the nice crunch of the breading - a win, win situation when it comes to oven roasted chicken. With the ease that the breading went on, combined with the amazing flavor, this breaded chicken recipe (and technique) has taken a place on top of my list of favorite breading. It's worth a shot for those of you following along at home. You won't be disappointed!

That's all we have for you this evening. Be sure to stop back tomorrow evening to see what I'm cooking up for day two of the blog. Until then,


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