Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Far from South Carolina

Wings and drumsticks, ah, wings and drumsticks.

I had those rich, flavorful pieces right where I wanted them, but I didn't really nail it in the end. At least I tried something new -- oven-fried chicken -- and can improve on it the next time around. Oven-baked is more like it, but the goal is to get a crispy coating and a result that's somewhat like fried chicken, without all the oil.

After receiving a bit of telephone coaching from my mom and sister, I laid out the dipping-and-dredging station: flour, egg, and trusty panko crumbs. This time I added some crumbled Corn Flakes (nice tip, Sis) and some sesame seeds to the panko. I ran the chicken down the assembly line and put it on a baking rack in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes.

Half an hour in, the browning was not to my satisfaction, so I raised the heat. I waited a while -- as did Margy, munching cashews -- and checked again. After about 45 minutes total, I was concerned about overcooking the chicken so I took it out of the oven, but I should have just let it go longer.

It wasn't overcooked, and some pieces were well browned. The Corn Flakes in particular had undergone an impressive transformation. But other pieces were a bit pale. And overall the coating wasn't moist enough. My results were worthy neither of my mother's nor my sister's oven-fried chicken. Not to mention I wished I were giving Margy a more exciting dinner. But she was happy. And now I know where I can do better next time.

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