Because no single way of eating works for everybody.
There are two problems with deep-frying chicken: it makes for a lot of fat in your dinner, and it makes it easy to set your house on fire.
My next-door neighbour did that. Normally the most careful cook, with a lifetime’s experience cooking in deep fat, on one occasion he left the kitchen for a moment during deep-frying when he heard the baby crying in the next room. And in that one moment of inattention, the kitchen caught fire. He and the baby escaped unharmed, but the whole house was gutted. It was a complete disaster.
Of course, you can go out for fried chicken when you have the craving. KFC’s chicken is fried – in some sort of processed seed oil – and while everyone loves the taste, I for one don’t love the grease. Other fried chicken restaurants, I’ve found, have similar problems. And of course, eating out is much more expensive than making your own food.
So, here’s a way to make your favourite kind of fried chicken at home, in the oven, without deep-frying. The recipe is one my husband found online somewhere, and that I altered somewhat. The chicken turns out juicy and tender and delicious, and you can spice it with anything you want to. It’s not greasy, it’s not dry… and there isn’t an artificial ingredient or weirdly-altered additive to be found.
Next time you want fried chicken, give this a try. I guarantee that it’s in no way a recipe for disaster!
Disaster-Free Baked Fried Chicken
2 lbs. chicken – boneless skinless strips or nuggets, or chicken parts with bones (with or without skin)
1 cup flour (I used kamut flour, but you can use ordinary wheat flour if wheat doesn’t bother you)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 Tablespoon of your favourite seasoning blend or combination of spices
2 teaspoons paprika
4 Tablespoons butter
1. Place chicken, not frozen, in a bowl of milk. Soak for 20 – 30 minutes. (Don’t skip this step – it helps make the chicken both juicy and crispy.) Discard the milk. Don’t even think of using the milk again. For anything.
2. Place flour and remaining ingredients in a clean plastic bag, such as a resealable food-storage bag. Seal the bag and shake it vigorously to blend all the dry ingredients and flour.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place butter in baking pan and put the pan in the oven, to melt the butter during preheating.
4. Spread melted butter evenly around the bottom of the pan, so there are no dry spots.
5. Take each piece of chicken from the milk, let excess milk drip off, then place chicken in the bag of flour and spices. Seal the bag and shake to coat chicken thoroughly. Place each piece of coated chicken in the baking pan.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over. Bake for 20 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. (Times will vary with size of chicken pieces, and presence or absence of bone.) Serve and enjoy.