Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oven-Fried Buttermilk Chicken

A recent article in our Sunday paper brought back memories of that favorite childhood dinner, the Swanson's fried chicken TV dinner. If mom had allowed, I'd have eaten one every night. Those tiny little legs and breasts, the wonderful mound of whipped potatoes, and the little square carrots--never mind that I had to pick out the peas--appealed to my as-yet-unformed palate. Being a "woman of a certain age," my TV dinner came without  a dessert indentation in the metal try. At the end of the article, I was delighted to find a recipe for oven-fried buttermilk chicken, Bobby Flay's 21st century take on this 60's classic.

Serves 4
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces each
2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 tbs canola oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk together the buttermilk, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cayenne in a large baking dish. Add the chicken breasts, turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position.

Pulse 1 1/4 cups of the panko bread crumbs in a blender until fine. Mix them with the remaining panko bread crumbs, the canola oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top. Liberally spray the rack with nonstick baking spray.

Working with one breast at a time, remove chicken from the marinade and dredge in the crumb mixture. Place on rack.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the breast registers 160 degrees, about 30 minutes.

NI: 310 cal, 9g carbs, 38 g protein, 110 mg cholesterol, 13 g fat, 400 mg sodium (based on 4 servings)
While DSO and I prefer dark meat to white meat, we both agreed that these breasts could change our minds about that preference. The meat was succulent with a bit of tang from the buttermilk. The panko coating more than made up for the lack of skin and we were both more than satisfied with this more healthful approach to fried chicken. I would say this is Bobby Flay at his most restrained and I, for one, was glad of it. The marinade had just enough cayenne and mustard to provide flavor. The marinade went together very quickly and the chicken benefited from a nice soak in it. The prep was easy enough for weeknight cooking. This is definitely a keeper.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Second Place
Stars of the Valley Quilt Show, April 2010
My planned 1 month hiatus has turned into 5 months, and while my life hasn't become more simplified, it is getting back on an even keel. My plan to return to the workforce full time for a few weeks stretched to 2 months. I enjoyed my return to the principalship, but have decided that those days are behind me for a reason. There's too much else to do! I'm now contenting myself with working as a college supervisor in addition to my volunteer work and quilting. So I'm hopeful that I can resume posting on THE FOOD OF LOVE, though on a more infrequent basis.

Be on the lookout for some new twists on old favorites, all with an eye toward making healthful eating more pleasurable. Remember my mantra:  Eat what you love and love what you eat.