There is no denying that the thought of fried chicken makes the mouth water...and at the same time most people can almost feel their arteries clog from the mere idea. Oven fried chicken, though, is a healthier method of preparing an "almost" guilty meal. No, it is not as healthy as boneless, skinless, and poached chicken breast; it is, however, a happy medium between completely healthy and completely unhealthy.
The technique shared here is one that is easy, delicious, and very versatile. The process consists of: dip, shake, drizzle, and bake. A person can buy packages at the grocery store that do the same thing, but by making this at home you control the ingredients (and therefore the preservatives and other additives) that are put onto the table. Even with the removal of extra fat and additives, most children tend to prefer this oven fried chicken over the chicken found at restaurants such as KFC...an added bonus when childhood obesity and overall health concerns are in the forefront of every parents mind.
Crispy Oven Fried Chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 lb chicken thighs or drumsticks
- 1/4 cup melted butter
Whisk together the egg and milk in a bowl. Shake the flour, sesame seeds, baking powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large bag until mixed. Dip the chicken into the egg and milk mixture; add to the bag and shake until coated. Place on a foil lined baking sheet; drizzle each piece of chicken with the melted butter. Bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour or until the chicken is nice and crispy on the outside and the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
Each piece is drizzled with butter, it is true, but it is a very small amount that is insignificant compared to the amount of oil or lard each piece is immersed in when making deep fat fried chicken. The skin can be removed prior to making this recipe, if really wanted, though that will likely result in chicken that is not quite as juicy as desired.
As with all other recipes for all other foods, this one can be easily changed to suit different taste preferences. The combination of paprika and cayenne pepper is sublime, but can easily be replaced by any other herb or spice that anyone has a preference for. Variety is only as far away as the spice cupboard. Tarragon, herbs de Provence, Italian seasonings, an envelope of tomato soup for a cup, or an envelope of dry Italian salad dressing are all excellent substitutes.
Great chicken is as near as your imagination!