Monday, September 21, 2009

Oven-Fried Chicken

I've tried numerous recipes for Oven-Fried Chicken, which tells you right away that I haven't found the perfect recipe. Until now. This Oven-Fried Chicken was hailed as "the best chicken you've ever made," by TS (Teenage Son). High praise indeed from the sullen teen as he helped himself to seconds.

If you know me, you know I like to put a healthy spin on the foods I make. Oven-Fried Chicken is by definition healthier than regular old "Fried Chicken" because it's not cooked in a vat of boiling fat. I make it healthier by removing the chicken skin, and then locking in the juiciness and flavor with a moist wet coating followed by a judicious layer of highly seasoned crispy ingredients. The chicken is baked on a wire rack, which lets all the surfaces crisp up evenly.

Oven Fried Chicken
Serves 4

1 1/3 cups Crispex cereal
2 1/4 cups broken Sea Salt flavor melba toast
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed (use legs, thighs or breasts, about 6 ounces each - cut large breasts in half crosswise to make two pieces)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray the rack generously with cooking spray.

Finely grind the cereal and toasts together in a food processor. Transfer crumbs to a large gallon size plastic bag. Add the oil, salt, cayenne, paprika, and ground pepper and toss to mix thoroughly. Whisk the light mayonnaise and Dijon mustard together in a medium shallow bowl. Add chicken to mayonnaise and turn to coat all the pieces evenly. Drop the chicken into the plastic bag, seal and shake until each piece is evenly coated. Place coated pieces on the prepared rack. Spray the chicken pieces evenly with cooking spray, and bake until the coating crisps and browns and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the pieces registers 160 degrees F, 35 to 40 minutes.

Transfer to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature.

Adapted from a recipe on

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