Can you believe it’s been nearly a week since I did any serious cooking? Well, unless you count some appetizers to bring to a friend’s house for a American Gladiators finale party. Let’s see … Friday was sleepover take-out. Saturday was out to a local pizza joint for Nicholas‘ birthday. Sunday was dinner at The Neighbors. Monday, said American Gladiators finale dinner at a friend’s house. Tuesday was Girls Night Out. And here we are. I think that’s the longest stretch I’ve gone without making dinner in ages (except if I was sick). Although y’all know how much I love to cook, sometimes it’s good to get a break. This one was completely not planned, but given how h-o-t the kitchen gets lately when I’m cooking, it’s a welcome respite.
But tonight, all that changed as I headed back in. I was filing some recipe clippings the other night and came across one that I ripped out two years ago, from a special issue of Self Magazine, Self Dishes. Nashville “Fried” Chicken. Who doesn’t love fried chicken? But if you’re like me, you can happily do without the extra calories and fat, and with this recipe, you can have your fried chicken without the guilt.
This version is baked, instead of fried, and could not be simpler to make. Toss together a bread crumb mixture. Dip the chicken pieces in buttermilk, then the breadcrumbs and bake for 40 minutes. Honestly, who can’t handle that? The end result is ridiculously moist chicken, courtesy of the buttermilk. I have no idea what makes it “Nashville,” but trust me, I don’t think it matters. Finger lickin’ good without the Colonel’s secret recipe.
Nashville “Fried” Chicken
Recipe courtesy of Self Dishes, Spring 2006
Nashville: Try the “fried” chicken, y’all. Southern hospitality wouldn’t be quite so hospitable without corn bread, collard greens, and, of course, fried chicken. If you haven’t already guessed that grease is what’s so “finger-lickin’ good,” we’ll let you in on a secret: You can spend nearly half a day’s calories on one thigh of this Southern-fried favorite. So make our baked version instead.
Makes 6 servings.
3 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp ground red pepper (I used chili powder)
2 cups 1.5 percent buttermilk
12 chicken pieces (6 breast halves, 6 thighs), skinless
Butter-flavored cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic salt, and red pepper. Pour buttermilk into a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken in buttermilk, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken, meaty side up, in a large baking pan. Generously coat chicken pieces with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes or until done. Check internal cooking temperature of chicken with a meat thermometer until breasts reach 170°F and thighs reach 180°F.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 440 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat)