Buttermilk Baked Chicken

Buttermilk Baked Chicken

There is a special place in my heart for fried chicken. I suppose it's cliche to say this since I live in the South, where fried chicken reigns supreme. Aside from macaroni and cheese and fresh biscuits it's definitely my favorite food. (Yikes. Mac-n-cheese and biscuits! Talk about cliche!) Are you one of those people who eschew fried chicken because of its fat content? While I suggest putting aside thoughts about fat and calories while eating fried chicken I totally understand where you're coming from. But it doesn't have to be that way; there is panko, which can step in and liven up a dish, giving baked chicken the shattering crunch of traditional fried chicken. Panko is a traditional breadcrumb from Japan, and it's made from bread without crusts, which gives it an airy texture. (I buy it at my grocery store in the Asian foods section.)

This is a great recipe for picnics, and with a bit of mac-n-cheese and biscuits on the side you can't go wrong.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken
Adapted from: Everyday Food
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Vegetable oil, for baking sheet
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup buttermilk
1-3 teaspoons Texas Pete (or other hot-pepper sauce)
Salt and pepper
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ½ ounces)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 pounds chicken parts (preferably legs, thighs, and wings), rinsed and patted dry

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Generously rub a baking sheet with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together buttermilk, hot-pepper sauce, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. In a separate bowl, mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan, thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Place the chicken in the buttermilk mixture, turning to coat evenly. Working with one piece at a time, remove chicken from liquid, letting excess drip back into bowl; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat evenly. Place coated chicken pieces on prepared baking sheet. Leave enough space between the chicken pieces so that they crisp evenly all the way around.
  4. Bake until chicken is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

"Oh, Canada .. With glowing hearts we see thee rise!" That's right! I'm heading to the beautiful city of Toronto this week with some of my favorite girls in the world - two of my college roommates. I'm leaving the boys behind to hold down the fort, and that means I'll also be away from Blog Land until next week. Happy Labor Day - might I suggest Buttermilk Baked Chicken for your picnics next week?