I Think Paula Would Be Proud, Ya'll!
|Looking in my recipe card box last night for something I haven't made in forever.. searching, searching.. there's a lot of cards to sift through. And then I came across this recipe that was given to me years ago by a friend's mother after they had invited me for dinner and I went bazonkers over her "fried chicken" dish. Which wasn't fried. I was amazed. It was baked - but it was so damn crispedy! And the coating? Like nothing I'd had before. So when I came across it last night I had to wonder if my friend's mom had somehow gotten this recipe from everyone's favorite butter guzzler (also known now as the Baroness of Butter har!), Paula Deen! If she didn't and Paula doesn't know about this recipe - I am so telling her about it when I see her in November (after I get her to sign my pound of butter, that is).|
And yes.. did you see? On FoodTV she's got 2 new shows for the new season.. Paula's Party something or other AND The Baroness of Butter! I larfed out loud :D Oh, and btw, Kevin? I think I told you in an e-mail, but not positive.. Nigella is coming to FoodTV too - I can't wait!
Okay where was I? Ahh yes.. the best crispedy baked chicken ya'll have ever had. Your chicken pieces/parts are first dipped into a bath of Mmm Mmm good melty butter, ya'll. And then it's dredged in.. are ya ready? It's dredged in crushed saltine crackers!! Yes, I was amazed too. Saltine f'n crackers.. who woulda thunk it? Okay, so maybe it's not as shocking to some as it was to me. But hell, in my little world saltine crackers were for slathering butter (ya'll) on and dipping into your chili! Or for nibbling on with your raw oysters.. never as a coating for chicken. Up until that point in my life, I had obviously been sheltered, eh?
Okay.. well her recipe was just chicken, butter and saltines. It was delish, but when I made it myself I found it to be a lil bland that first time - so I've since tweaked it by adding different herbs and spices to the saltine coating and I think I hit upon the best combination a few years ago.. I add sage and thyme as well as a good seasoning with salt & pepper (sometimes garlic salt).
Give your arteries notice and then make this chicken - it's quick, easy and for little effort you definitely get a big payoff. Oh and one more thing.. you'll usually have a lil melty butter left over - try not to guzzle it, ya'll - just drizzle it over the already coated pieces. ;)
4 chicken thighs, skin on (Or whatever chicken pieces you so desire)
2 c. crushed saltine crackers
1 TBS. fresh or dried sage, chopped
1 TBS. fresh or dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2/3 c. melted butter
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Dry your pieces/parts and then dip a piece into the melted butter. Season both sides with salt & pepper and then dredge in the saltine/herb mixture. Place in a baking dish. Repeat this process with all your pieces/parts.
Bake for 1 hour in pre-heated oven. I baked for 70 minutes because I used bone in thighs - darker meat takes a bit longer. For boneless breasts, I'd check them at 45 - 50 minutes.
*Note: For the herbs I used the sage and thyme that I had dried out in my dehydrator from my garden. If you are going to use dried, store bought, you might want to use a little less (especially if your sage is ground, then I'd suggest maybe just a teaspoon). If you are using fresh, then I'd go for even a little more - maybe an additional 1/2 - 1 tsp.