A few years ago, when I first started paying closer attention to how I was feeding my family, one of the things that I was most impressed with, was roasting a whole chicken. It amazed me that I could shake some salt and pepper on, along with a few other spices if I was feeling adventurous, and have dinner in the oven in less time than it would have taken me to figure out what to order at KFC (those drive through menus have way too many choices…I get very overwhelmed!). After about a year of this enlightened state of chicken on our dinner table, I happened to “treat” the kids to the famous chicken in the red and white bucket with the picture of Colonel Sanders on the front. About halfway through the meal, this is what I heard, “This is the best chicken I have ever had in my life!!” My shoulders drooped and I hung my head. But, as I sat there, feeling like Charlie Brown, it occurred to me, I must not give up! These are the same kids that say things like, “You never let us have any fun!”, and “You always make me clean up my room…every day I have to clean up my room!” (I will spare you the photos of the rooms in question.) So, I have to remember, that yes, the Colonel’s chicken is tasty, but maybe, certain people around here are exaggerating for dramatic effect. And just maybe, someday, when they have lived past 8 and 9 years old, the BEST chicken of their lives will not have come from a bucket.
OVEN FRIED CHICKEN
Adapted from Dinner, A Love Story
~3 cups buttermilk
~1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
~3 garlic cloves, halved
~3 to 4 lbs. of chicken parts, bone in. Choose whatever parts you like, or cut up a whole chicken.
~Olive oil or cooking spray
~2 cups of your favorite plain breakfast cereal flakes, crushed up (we use Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes)
~1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
~1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
~salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a very large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mustard and garlic.
2. Place the chicken parts into the buttermilk mixture, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, shallow baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with olive oil or cooking spray.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cereal crumbs, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.
5. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk (discard the buttermilk) and dredge in the crumb mixture until coated on all sides and then place on the baking sheet.
6. Spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray or olive oil and bake in the oven 35 to 40 minutes.
Sit down and eat the best chicken you’ve ever had in your life!