Thursday, October 27, 2011

Win, Win...and Win

Prince CuddleBunny and I walked into the supermarket, list in hand, and were hit by the tempting smell of fried chicken, and the sign: "Sale: 8-Piece Chicken $5.99"  I was tired, it was going to be a busy afternoon with sports, then the kids rushing out after dinner for youth group, so this seemed like an easy answer that I knew would be popular with the troops.  I asked the prince if we should get fried chicken for dinner, and he readily agreed.  (To give the store some credit, this was a comparatively decent price, and they use trans-fat free oil, and quality, local chicken.)

Thankfully, as we shopped, reservations were getting the better of me, and I decided to wander through the meat department before our stop at the deli counter.  Perusing the chicken selections, I asked Prince CuddleBunny, "Do you think we should get already fried chicken, or buy twice as many pieces here and fix them ourselves at home?"  I explained that the fried chicken was $6 for 8 pieces, and for only $5 this package held 16 chicken legs.  Surprisingly wise for 7, or just deciding "more was better than quick," he voted for buying raw chicken and cooking it at home.

Long story short:
24 pieces of chicken, including wings that don't have much meat (enough for 1 dinner and 1 lunch):  $18
40 pieces of chicken, all favorite pieces with plenty to offer (enough for 2 full dinners, plus the meat for Friday pizza): $19

Financially:  WIN

Standing in the store, I knew this was my chance to try a new recipe that I'd saved from email the week before.  It was  Picnic Oven-Fried Chicken, via's Recipe of the Day.  I knew just from "oven-fried" that it had to be healthier than deep fried supermarket fare, but I hadn't yet read any more of the recipe than its title... So I had to hope I had ingredients on hand to make it.

I didn't have everything, but for what I didn't have, I felt I could substitute.  What really thrilled me, though, is that not only was the chicken baked, rather than fried, but the coating was made of a list of very healthy ingredients.  Additionally, to make it even healthier, it instructed to skin the chicken, which, being in a hurry, I didn't take the time to do that evening.  Even with the skin, I'm certain we were far ahead of what the store chicken would've fed us.

Health-wise: WIN

Oven-Fried Chicken
adapted from  Picnic Oven-Fried Chicken from, originally from Eating Well

(My substitutions are noted in red)

Whisk together 
1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup low-fat milk + 1/2 Tablespoon cider vinegar)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (1/2 to 1 Tablespoon mustard powder)
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon garlic powder... My garlic press broke!)
1 teaspoon hot sauce (1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper)

2 1/2 to 3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned (or not)
into the buttermilk mixture to marinate, covered in refrigerator, for 1/2 hour up to 8 hours

After marinating, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.   Line a baking sheet with foil, place rack on top and spray with Pam.

Mix together
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
black pepper, in amounts as desired

They recommend putting the flour mixture in a bag, then after letting excess marinade drip off, placing chicken pieces in the bag to shake.  I, instead, put the flour mixture in a casserole dish and rolled the drained chicken pieces in it.  

Shake off excess flour, and place on greased rack on prepared baking sheet in single layer with space in between.  Spray chicken with Pam, or spritz with olive oil.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the outside is golden brown and the inside is no longer pink in the center. (Internal temperature of 160 to 170) -- After 40 minutes, ours was 200 degrees inside, so I recommend checking after 30 minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                  

This coating was fairly crispy and definitely delicious.  I was hesitant to use it on the whole batch, because a couple of the kids really dislike sesame seeds.  But the flavors blended well and the sesame taste wasn't obvious, even though the seeds were quite visible.  Everyone agreed it was a recipe they'd happily eat again.

So, finally, for taste:  WIN  :-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...