Saturday, August 18, 2012

Half Baked Fried Chicken

The great thing about fried chicken is that whether you eat the breading or not, it keeps the chicken meat moist while cooking. Another advantage of this recipe is that it enables you to make more than one skillet full of chicken at a time.

Fried chicken can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, which makes it a perfect dish for a picnic or a tailgating party. There are two drawbacks: deep frying often results in chicken that is too greasy, and it is nearly impossible, I find, to fry the dark meat long enough to cook the inside without burning the crust.

This is based on a traditional Maryland Fried Chicken recipe. I guess that is South but not “Deep South,” which may explain why the chicken is fried but not deep fried.

(Serves 6–8 people)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper
3 eggs
3 tablespoons water
3 cups dry bread crumbs
Two 3-pound chickens, cut up in pieces, at room temperature
Vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix flour with paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Mix eggs and water in a medium-size bowl. Mix crumbs and salt in another medium-size bowl. Coat chicken with flour mixture. Dip flour-coated chicken into egg mixture; coat chicken with crumb mixture.

Heat oil (1/4-inch deep) in a skillet over medium high heat until hot. First fry the dark meat chicken in oil for seven to ten minutes, or until light brown on all sides, and then remove them from the oil and lay them to rest on a paper towel to absorb excess fat. Then do the same with the white meat, which should need only four to six minutes.

Place chicken in a large roasting pan in the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until done (the exact timing will depend upon the size of the chicken pieces). To ensure doneness take a long, thin knife or metal skewer and stick into one of the larger dark-meat pieces. If it is hot to the touch (best judged by your lip) when removed, the chicken is done on the inside.

Pat with paper towels to absorb excess fat and serve immediately, or allow to cool down to room temperature. 

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