Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

Fried foods are a guilty pleasure of mine; onion rings, French fries, and tempura are some of my favorite things. Perhaps it's a good thing for my health that I don't have a deep fryer and without a reliable thermometer I'm afraid to fry at home. So the next best thing is the oven. I must admit that oven fried foods can not entirely replicate their deep fried counterparts but they are definitely healthier and can be equally delicious.

Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

4 chicken thighs and 4 drumsticks
3 C buttermilk
3 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 bay leaves, crumbled
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 C panko crumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne

Add salt, sugar, garlic, and bay leaves to the buttermilk and stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Submerge the chicken pieces in the buttermilk and refrigerate for 3 hours. Then remove the chicken, allowing the excess buttermilk to drip off, and place the chicken on a wire rack in the fridge to dry for an hour. (After 3 hours the chicken can be removed from the buttermilk and refrigerated until you are ready to cook).

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with foil and place a wire rack on the tray.

Drizzle the oil over the panko and toss to fully distribute. Beat the egg with with mustard, thyme, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne.

Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then coat in bread crumbs and shake off the excess. Bake until the chicken is golden brown, about 40 minutes, flipping the chicken over halfway.

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