Oven Fried "Buttermilk" Chicken

Despite the oven frying, this recipe makes for some juicy and tender chicken.   It is VERY juicy.  Like an orange, the juices from this chicken will run down your face it's so juicy.  And ten-DER!  So tender you'll plotz!

"This chicken is so juicy and tender!" I gushed to theHubby as we were devouring dinner.  

Replied theHubby, "It's nice."  

"Just nice?  But this is THE most tenderest and juiciest chicken I ever made!" 

"It's okay.  I just like it a little drier."


Anyway, if you are a more normal person who likes chicken, you HAVE to try this.  For many years I've seen in article after article that soaking a chicken in buttermilk makes for a great fried chicken.  But for obvious (read: kosher) reasons, in my house buttermilk and chicken don't mix.

Then I read in a cookbook somewhere (I wish I could remember where I read it.  If you are the source please let me know and I'll be happy to give you props) that lemon juice mixed with soy milk equals parve buttermilk.  Woo-hoo!  Lemme at that chicken.

This is not a 5pm what-should-I make-at-the-last-minute dish.  Corn pudding casserole is a last-minute dish, but not this.  You have to soak the chicken in the pretend buttermilk for at least 4 hours.  Eight hours or overnight is even better.  Its purpose is to tenderize and flavorize.  Some things just can't be rushed.

Aside from the wannabee buttermilk, I minorly tinkered with a few other items in the original recipe, including the use of garlic powder instead of fresh.  I  figured that if fresh were used in the marinade, most of the garlic would sink to the bottom of the dish.  Which is not a good thing.

Oh yeah, the latest thing is to NOT rinse the chicken before cooking.  Proper cooking kills any pathogens that might lurk on the surface, and rinsing can actually spread them around the kitchen.   In addition, according to laboratory tests (that I read about in a kosher butcher), kosher chicken is LESS likely to have salmonella anyway, among other nasties, possibly due to salt in the kashering process.

I also omitted half stick of butter, because the skin is left on, instead spritzing with olive oil cooking spray to prevent the crumbs from burning.  If you decide to use skinless chicken, drizzle on a tablespoon or two of margarine or olive oil.  That's all that's really needed anyway.

Oven-Fried Buttermilk Chicken
adapted from chow.com
makes 5 servings

2 cups soy milk
2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice (from about a 1/2 lemon)
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbl. hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot)
1 Tbl. kosher salt
1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
1tsp.  paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 chicken, cut up in eighths
3 cups Corn Flakes
olive oil cooking spray

Stir together soy milk, lemon juice in a 2 cup measuring cup and stir.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in garlic, hot sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Do not rinse chicken, but pat chicken dry with paper towels if moisture is on skin. Place in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pour buttermilk mixture over chicken, cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours to overnight,  turning once.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place Corn Flakes  in a large food-safe bag and season with salt and black pepper.  Do not seal bag (to avoid exploding corn flakes all over the kitchen during the next step).  Place on a cutting board to protect countertop.

With a rolling pin or saucepan, gently bash corn flakes until they are crumbs.  As an alternative, you can pulverize them in the food processor.  But then you still have to put the crumbs in a bag, plus you have another thing to wash later.  Your choice.

You should have a little over a cup of crumbs, give or take.

Line a large baking pan with foil (you'll thank me later).  Lightly spritz with olive oil cooking spray (or the parve "butter flavor" type I accidentally grabbed).

Lift a chicken part from buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip off.

 Place in bag with corn flake crumbs.  Holding bag tightly closed, gently shake bag to coat piece completely. 

Place piece on prepared baking sheet.  Gently press crumbs to make sure they adhere.  

Repeat with remaining chicken parts.

Bake until golden and crispy about 35-45 minutes.

Serve alongside corn pudding casserole and/or your favorite veggie.

Can I have some too?  Please?  Please, please, please?  Don't make me beg!


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