Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oven Fried Chicken and Bizarre Weather Conditions

I am starting to think that the weather patterns have somehow developed Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia and they have lost their way. This is Tennessee. We are not supposed to get snow every week in the winter. We get one or two "dustings" and the occasional 4-inch snowfall. This winter has been ridiculous - crazy and ridiculous! I am not complaining about my first White Christmas in more than twenty years. I am glad the kiddos get to slide and build snowmen and drop their melty-snowy-drippy boots and coats all over the kitchen floor.The tea kettle always seems to be on the back burner on low. The sound of 4-wheelers pulling sleds can be heard more often than I remember in the backyard. What I am not crazy about is having to cancel classes, and then potentially messing up my "Spring Break" in order to make them up! But, for today, we will enjoy yet another snowy, writing class-free day at Casa Brasells. Might be a good day to do some cooking (chili?) or baking. My menu plan calls for no dinner to be made on Wednesday night because we have "family supper" at church. I am not sure, but I think they might cancel if it is going to get below freezing and what has melted will re-freeze... roads will be parking lots and parking lots will be skating rinks... and if you aren't wearing skates, skating rinks are not much fun! In that case, I will be forced to cook tonight. What torture :) It's a challenge to make something NOT on the menu without using up the items in the fridge/freezer that you need for other meals.

Like I told you earlier this week, Sunday dinner was Oven Fried Chicken. It is easier than regular fried chicken, requires less oil and is equally crispy and yummy. I served it with "crispy red potatoes" but that doesn't even require a recipe. All I did was to put the red potatoes (whole) into a pot of water and cooked them until they were just barely tender... it took about 30 minutes once the water came to a low boil. Then I drained them and let them cool a bit before I cut them in half. I placed them cut-side down in the heated iron skillet that had about 2 T of butter and 2 T. olive oil and sprinkled them with garlic salt and let them cook until the cut side was browned and crisp - about 20 minutes. Alternatively you could take the bottom of a heavy pan and "smash" or squash the potatoes and then fry them the same way, but you will need to do it in batches. Don't overcrowd the pan or you will steam them and they will never get crispy! This is perfect for breakfast hashbrowns. Cook extra potatoes when you make them for dinner and then just put in the fridge for a yummy weekend breakfast!

So, here is the chicken recipe the way I did it. You can lessen the amounts of chicken. I like leftovers :) Enjoy your winter day!


5 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
4 chicken breasts (bone in, skin on)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. garlic powder
2 T. paprika
1 t thyme leaves (or 1/2 t. ground thyme)
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
4 c. buttermilk
1 c. shortening

In large zip-loc bags (or shallow pan) cover chicken with buttermilk and allow to soak for 1-4 hours. Drain buttermilk from chicken and discard. In large bowl or bag combine flour and seasonings until well-blended. Toss chicken in flour mixture and place on wire rack on baking sheet. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425'. Place 1/2 c. shortening in each of 2 9x13 baking dishes. Place in hot oven and allow to melt completely. Re-toss in flour. Place chicken skin side down in baking dishes and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully turn chicken, trying not to disturb the coating. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

I am off to enjoy a lovely snow day. Knitting needles and essays are calling my name!
Until next time, stay warm and loved, my friends!

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