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...
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.
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.
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
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