FOR last week's Recipe Swap I made real skillet-fried chicken. I hadn't cooked it in years, and it was really satisfying, but I also thought readers might be interested in recipes that deliver good crispy chicken with the ease of so-called "oven-frying." Wendy Pongoski sent in a handy family standby originally from a Pillsbury cookbook, and I also turned up a recipe that uses buttermilk and panko (Japanese bread crumbs).
Adele Stevens would love to reproduce the East India Company's navratan, a dish of vegetables, spices and paneer. And I'm on the lookout for lemon desserts, to celebrate the season with a quintessential spring flavour.
If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to email@example.com, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
250 ml (1 cup) instant mashed potato flakes
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
1 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper
1-2 ml (1/4-1/2 tsp) poultry seasoning
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 ml (1 tsp) lemon juice
1.3-1.5 kg (3-3 1/2 lb) frying chicken, cut up and skin removed, or equivalent amount of skinless chicken pieces
Preheat oven to 190C (375F). In plastic bag, combine potato flakes, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning, and shake to mix. In a shallow bowl, combine egg and lemon juice. Dip chicken in egg mixture and then add to dry mixture in plastic bag. Shake to coat. Place coated chicken on an ungreased 38x25x2.5 cm (15x10x1) baking pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear.
Tester's notes: This easy recipe made crispy and tender chicken. Try to ensure chicken pieces are roughly the same size -- cut breasts in half, for example -- so that cooking times are close. If the breading isn't browning -- this is one of the drawbacks of the low-fat oven method -- you can drizzle the tops with a little oil.
Oven-fried chicken with buttermilk and panko
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme
1 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne
15 ml (1 tbsp) garlic powder
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) panko
15 ml (1 tbsp) all-purpose seasoning (with salt)
pepper, to taste
2 eggs, beaten
Marinate chicken in buttermilk, thyme, cayenne and garlic overnight or for at least 4 hours. Preheat oven to 205C (400F). Mix the panko with the seasoning and pepper and place on a plate. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl. Take chicken from buttermilk mixture, dip in egg mixture and then dredge in panko mixture. Place breaded chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is crispy and juices run clear.
Tester's notes: The panko crumbs really do give the chicken a nice, delicate crisp, so try not to substitute. (Panko can be found in most supermarkets.) Again, getting the breading to brown was an issue: The recipe suggests misting the chicken with non-stick spray, but I don't really like cooking spray, so I just drizzled with a little olive oil. You could also use melted butter. I found that foil did make cleanup easier, but the chicken was apt to stick to it.