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Table Talk » The Best Oven-Fried Chicken

Today is the first day of summer, the perfect time for fried chicken. I've had a recipe called The Best Oven-Fried Chicken on my menu for a while, but I've never made it for anyone. I want to make it next week for one of my clients, so I decided to test it today.

The recipe is from Pam Anderson, a contributing editor for Fine Cooking magazine and former executive editor of Cook's illustrated.

thebestovenfriedchicken_062107.jpg

I made a few changes to the recipe. I used 4 ounces plain melba toasts and 4 ounces onion melba toasts. I also doubled the herbs and spices. I put the spices in the egg wash as specified in the recipe, but I also added the same amount of herbs and spices to the melba toast crumbs. The recipe calls for chicken legs and thighs, but we don't like chicken legs, so I used all thighs.

The chicken was very easy to prepare; I don't think it took the 35 minutes specified in the recipe. And best of all, it was delicious. I'm glad that I added the extra seasonings. It was flavorful and crunchy. Both Tom and I declared it a winner.

The Best Oven-Fried Chicken

from www.usaweekend.com

Prep time: 35 minutes. Cooking time: 30-35 minutes.

This recipe easily doubles or triples. If you don't have a food processor, crush the Melba toasts to a sand-and-pebbles consistency in a plastic bag with a rolling pin -- that's the secret.

3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons. Dijon-style mustard
1 1/4 teaspoons. salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces plain Melba toasts
6 drumsticks and 6 thighs, skin and visible fat removed
vegetable oil cooking spray

Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Beat together the eggs, mustard and seasonings in a cake pan or other shallow dish.

Pulse Melba toast (do this in 2 batches) to a sand-and-pebble texture in a food processor, then transfer to a second cake pan or other shallow dish.

Set a large wire rack over an 18- by 12-inch jellyroll pan lined with foil. Using your right hand, roll chicken in egg mixture to coat. Working one piece at a time, lay chicken in crumbs and use your left hand to press crumbs onto top of chicken (alternating hands cuts down on the mess). Turn piece over; repeat pressing crumbs into chicken on other side. Gently shake off excess. Set chicken on rack.

Coat pieces evenly with oil. Bake until nutty brown and juices run clear, 30 minutes for drumsticks and 35 minutes for thighs. Remove from oven with tongs; let cool on a platter

Posted June 21, 2007 8:02 PM in Test Kitchen


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