Friday, February 23, 2007

Crunchy Chicken

When I was a younger mother and cook, I devised my own recipe for chicken like "Shake & Bake". This is my middle son's favorite dish, and we had it for dinner tonight. These measurements are an approximation because this dish is so old-hat for me. Also, this is not for the cholesterol-watchers because the crunchy skin is so delicious.

6 chicken leg quarters
5 eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Special equipment: 2 one-gallon zipper bags
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil. If the chicken legs are particularly fatty, place a flat rack or broiling rack in the baking pan and cover the rack with foil; poke holes in the foiled rack for the fat to drip through.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat rapidly with a fork or whisk. Beat in the lemon juice. Pour this mixture into one zipper bag.
  3. Pour the breadcrumbs and the rest of the dry ingredients into the other zipper bag. Shake thoroughly to mix the seasonings.
  4. Place one chicken leg quarter in the egg bag and seal tightly. Shake or massage the egg mixture to coat the chicken leg. Remove the wet leg to the breadcrumb bag and seal tightly. Shake, shake, shake, shake until the leg is completely coated with the breadcrumb mixture. Place the coated chicken leg in the baking pan, skin-side up.
  5. Repeat Step 4 for the remainder of the chicken leg quarters. Space them evenly in the pan so they do not overlap or touch each other, if possible.
  6. Bake chicken legs for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crunchy on the outside. You can turn the oven off at this time and let the chicken remain in the cooling oven for another 10-15 minutes for more tender chicken and less fatty skin.
Serves 6 adults.

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