Even though I’m technically from Southern California, my people are from the south. One grandparent from Alabama, one from Georgia and one from Florida (the last one was from Pennsylvania, but we won’t hold that against him). Does that give me any cred in judging fried chicken recipes? Absolutely not, but the beginning of this post was giving me hell, so it’s as good a way to start as any. Otherwise, I would have just had to start with my usual gushing on about how wonderful Cook’s Illustrated is, because this Oven Fried Chicken recipe is from their Cook’s Country, an offshoot of Cook’s Illustrated and almost as good as the original.
This “fried” chicken is exceptionally tasty and comes with a bonus – or comes without a bonus, but you can’t really say that. What I mean is this chicken has far less fat and calories (something we normally don’t concern ourselves with around here, but hey, if they’re missing, might as well mention it) than your regular fried chicken. It’s not the same as the real deal, but it’s good in a different kind of way.
The recipe does require corn flakes, which we don’t eat (have you ever looked at the nutritional value of corn flakes? I’m surprised the FDA or whoever requires those things even lets corn flakes have a nutrition panel – they’re basically caloric air!), which seem only to come in two sizes – “jumbo” and “never going to finish this in your lifetime baby.” I’ll be posting an ancient family recipe for Cereal Cookies shortly to help you with your surplus.
Oven Fried Chicken from Cook’s Country
To crush the corn flakes, place them in side a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to break them into pieces no smaller than 1/2 inch.
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
8 split bone-in chicken breasts (10 to 12 ounces each), skin removed and ribs trimmed with kitchen shears
2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Whisk buttermilk, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and hot sauce together in large bowl. Add chicken, turn to coat well, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil, set wire rack on sheet, and coat rack with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Gently toss corn flakes, bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, poultry seasoning, paprika, and cayenne in shallow dish until combined. Drizzle oil over crumbs and toss until well coated. Working with one piece at a time, remove chicken from marinade and dredge in crumb mixture,firmly pressing crumbs onto all sides of chicken. Place chicken on prepared rack, leaving 1/2 inch of space between each piece. Bake until chicken is deep golden brown, juices run clear, and instant-read thermometer inserted deep into breast away from bone registers 160 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes.