Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Crispy Baked Chicken

I made and ate "fried" chicken THREE times last week. It all started as I was looking for inspirations for meat dishes to make for dear hubby, who is on a 45-day body sculpting program. On certain days of the week, he will skip carbs and he was feeling like having fried chicken one day. So being the Good Wife, I was looking for a "healthier" version for him. I mean, since he has done so well with all the healthy eating and losing that lil' belly (Dear, I love every bit of you and I thank you for accepting my belly too), we should try to maintain that, right? :)

Without further ado, I took inspiration from some of my favorite food blogs and recipe sites and I began making the seasoned flour and getting the wings ready. Ohh... I can just imagine that the Hot & Spicy Baked Wings will be good as the spices smells so nice! 

Here was my first attempt...

Cripsy Baked Chicken Wings
Attempt #1
                              
Not too bad right? Looks good just like those KFC fried chicken. But... The batter was too crunchy to my liking. It must be because of the corn meal. The Man of the house said it was a good try. But, I was determined to perfect the recipe and I know just what to tweak for the second attempt. 

The next day, I made another batch of baked chicken, this time I used all legs or I call them drumsticks. What I changed was, instead of using corn meal, I used Panko. This is a type of Japanese bread crumbs that I bought in Aeon Jusco. You can opt for any breadcrumbs that you can get in stores or better still make some using old bread. And since I had a bit more time, I rubbed the chicken with some salt and pepper and chill for about 30 minutes. 

And the result was??? This time, the skin wasn't cripsy (I am not sure if using olive oil instead of melted butter had anything to do with the lack of crispiness) and I might have gone a tad too much on the spices. The Man said it was quite strong on the first bite and kind of overpowering. I felt that it was spicy but I like it! And it was very moist. Even my helper, who is normally does all the cooking and does it quite well said, "Ini lebih sedapppp dari semalam" (Translation: This is more tasty then Attempt #1 & the extra p's came from the Auto-correct, I swear). Oh well, some mini successes. 

Cripsy Baked Chicken Drumstick
Attempt #2


Then, came Attempt #3... By this round, I was able to whip this up quickly and was getting used to all the ingredients that I didn't need to refer to the recipe. This time, I wiped my chicken dry with kitchen towels to soak up any access fluids from washing. I'm not sure if this helps, but the lady from the Food Network Channel said if you want to get crispy skin for fried chicken, dry them as much as possible. But the recipe calls for dipping the chicken into milk before coating with the flour, so technically that will be the opposite of keeping it dry, right? Anyway, we shall see. I reminded myself to not over spice my flour. I also used melted butter to drizzle over the chicken this time. 

Cripsy Baked Chicken
Attempt #3
                 
Wow... This time the Crispy Baked Chicken turned out really nice. And the aroma was so inviting! Attempt #3 was the best of the 3 batches, but it could still be crispier. I will be back... 

All in all, it is definitely less evil than deep frying the chicken and I found out from Uncle Google that although fried and baked chicken differ not too much on calories, perhaps, 120 calories from 1 fried drumsticks and 80 calories from the baked version, I think ANY reduction is great. Not to mention the ease of washing and no oil splatters on the walls of the kitchen and... the fact that you do no need to stand in front of a wok of hot oil, with melting make up. I also learnt that to burn 120 calories, it requires 30 minutes of walking. Enough with all the bla, bla, bla. 

Here is the recipe:

Crispy Hot & Spicy Baked Chicken

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 50 min. MAKES: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder 
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper ground (Extra hot) 
1/2 teaspoon Sweet Hungarian Paprika 
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk or butter milk (make your own by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice) Updated on 7/10: I tried using lightly beaten whole egg with a bit of buttermilk and I am not sure if it's because eggs are my favorite-st food, the chicken tasted even better with a nice fragrant aroma. 
1/2 chicken cut up (Can use any part you prefer, drumstick or wings)
1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions:
1. Marinate chicken with 1 teaspoon of salt and some pepper for 30 minutes or longer in the fridge. Updated on 7/10: Substitute salt with Abalone sauce + a few sprinkles of sesame oil for an even deeper flavor. It really enhances the whole thing and the seafoody-sweetness makes the natural juices so goood.
2. In a shallow bowl combine the first 7 ingredients. 
3. Pour milk in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken in milk, then roll in the seasoned flour mixture. You can repeat this for a thicker coat of seasoned flour and a more crispy bite. 
4. Place chicken in a greased (or line with parchment paper )11-in. x 9-in. baking pan or directly on the grill rack with the baking pan underneath. 
5. Drizzle with butter. 
6. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven at 190° C for 50-55 minutes or until juices run clear. Time will be shorter with chicken wings, perhaps 40 minutes or less. 

Notes:

  • To make the chicken more moist, you can soak the chicken in buttermilk for 30 minutes before coating with the seasoned flour. Add some salt and pepper into the buttermilk and mix well.
  • You can flip the chicken over at about half time through the baking, but it didn't make much difference for me and you risk the skin peeling off. 

No comments:

Post a Comment