I love fried chicken, always have. But there's always the persistent health concern. The more thorough among us worry about the fat content, even when not using hydrogenated oil. Problem is, I was brought up on chicken cooked in fat, either lard or left-over grease my mother would keep in a jar in the fridge. I know, you're saying: "Yuk---what would that do to you arteries, not to mention your waistline?" Guess what, it was the best fried chicken I ever tasted. And I yearn for those days. Now, when I fry chicken I use olive oil---but that's an expensive proposition if one is going to use good quality olive oil every time. And I still hanker for the Crisco.
I've discovered another way to cook chicken that is just as tasty and, yes, healthy. That's oven-fried chicken. What I like about oven-fried chicken is that it comes out just as crispy, tasty and as juicy as my mother's hallowed larded chicken. It's become my favorite method of making the legendary dish. In honor of full disclosure, this recipe comes from an old, tattered cookbook of mine from the Rival Home Economics Department, Rival Manufacturing Company, Kansas City, Missouri. I've modified the recipe in terms of the seasoning used. Now, I don't know if the Rival Company is still around, but the recipe lives on in all its glory. Tasty, fried chicken without the fat content. What more could you want?
1 broiler/fryer chicken, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds, cut up
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs or crushed potato chips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Rinse chicken pieces under cold running water, and pat dry with paper towels.
3. Combine bread crumbs or crushed potato chips with the seasonings.
4. Dip chicken pieces in evaporated milk. Roll in seasoning mixture.
3. Place in a baking pan and bake 45 to 60 minutes or until chicken is tender.
Yield: 4 servings.
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