Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oven-Fried Chicken

Although I'm usually game for KFC, I rarely fry chicken myself because it takes so much oil, which gets expensive, and is so unhealthy. I also usually only have boneless, skinless chicken breasts around the house unless I bought a whole chicken to make chicken noodle soup. This is an easy, low-fat chicken dish that makes a good alternative to fried chicken.

You may also want to dredge the chicken in flour before dipping it in the egg, but I usually don't. I use whole-wheat Ritz crackers instead of cornflakes because I'm likely to have crackers around and am not a big fan of cornflakes for breading (or as a cereal for that matter). I use only boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which cuts down on the cooking time. If you do this, keep an eye on them because they can easily dry out. I cooked 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and they were done in less than 25 minutes at 375 degrees. This will, of course, vary greatly depending on the thickness of chicken breasts you use. This coating also makes excellent chicken strips.

Oven-Fried Chicken
from The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cups crushed cornflakes or finely crushed rich round crackers (about 35 crackers)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 1/2 to 3 pounds meaty chicken pieces (breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks)

1. In a small bowl. combine egg and milk. For coating, combine crushed cornflakes, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper; stir in melted butter. Skin chicken. Dip chicken pieces, on at a time, into egg mixture; coat with crumb mixture.

2. In a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan, arrange chicken, bones sides down, so the pieces aren't touching. Sprinkle chicken pieces with any remaining crumb mixture so they are generously coated.

3. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 F for breasts, 180 F for thighs and drumsticks). Do not turn the pieces while cooking.

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