Monday, July 28, 2008


I found this recipe on, and it sounded so good. Trouble is it called for buttermilk, and I didn't have any. I decided to sub lite sour cream, and it worked well until the chicken went in the oven. It just didn't crisp up. And that might also be because I eliminated the egg wash, thinking the sour cream coating would carry the chicken. Big mistake. It's not that it tasted bad. The flavor was excellent. It just wasn't crispy. So instead of giving you my "adjustments," I'm going to give you the recipe as it appears on the website. I will try this again -- without substitutions next time.

Cornmeal-Crusted Oven-Fried Chicken
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. salt, divided use
1-1/2 tsp. cayenne, divided use
3-lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp. paprika
an egg wash made by beating 2 large eggs with 2 Tbsp. cold water + 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, zest, lemon juice, oil, shallots, thyme, 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. cayenne. Add the chicken, stirring to coat it with the marinade, and let it marinate, covered in fridge, 3 hours or overnight, stirring it occasionally.

Preheat oven to 425F. In another large bowl, combine cornmeal, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, remaining 1 tsp. salt, paprika, and remaining 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Remove chicken from the marinade with a slotted spoon, letting the excess marinade drip off. Dip it in the egg wash, and dredge it in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess. Arrange the chicken in one layer on a rack and let it dry for 30 minutes. The chicken may be prepared up to this point 6 hours in advance and kept covered loosely and chilled. Arrange the chicken, skin side up, in one layer in a lightly oiled jelly-roll pan, drizzling the butter over it, and bake it in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes, or until it is crisp and golden. Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain. Serve the chicken warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6

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