Monday, May 4, 2015

Nana's Chicken in the Oven

It's been an emotional week for me. One, because it was my last week with the company I've worked with for 2 1/2 years and also because I was in a pretty terrifying car accident. I'm fine, minus a couple staples in my head and a few bruises. My car however, didn't make it. It was totaled and though I get to shop for a new car I feel completely heartbroken and saddened by saying goodbye to my old one. She was my first car that I bought when I was 20 and I've been through so much with it!

I don't know if it's the combination of fear and shock from the accident that brought on this emotional tie but it's hard to break! Has anyone else experienced this?

Anywho, speaking of sentimental, my Nana has several recipes that I swear only taste good when she makes it. Grandmas have a knack at cooking by feel so maybe the recipe they once wrote down isn't updated...or maybe it's something about that love that goes into every recipe! Either way, I found myself with chicken drumsticks this weekend and decided to attempt Nana's Chicken in the Oven. Of course this isn't actually what the recipe is called but that's what I grew up referring it as and it stuck. Nana uses thighs, drumsticks, even skin on breasts but the crispy skin and brown bits are nostalgic.

Whenever I ask her what her secret is she always says "it's so ridiculous, there's nothing to it". But she finally came clean and admitted "I don't think your mother ever uses enough butter". I love her. So, I used more than I'd like to admit and guess what? I nailed it! Still not as good as Nana's but it was pretty dang close!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large plastic bag I added equal parts of white flour and whole wheat flour (Nana only uses white) about a cup of each. I also added salt, pepper, and a few dashes of cayenne pepper.
Pop a few drumsticks in the bag and zip to close. Shake until evenly coated with four. Shake off excess flour and place in a baking pan. Don't overcrowd or it will steam rather than crisp.
Dice up 3/4 stick of butter and dab all over the tops of the chicken. I can't see how this chicken could be bad, do you?
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and then remove from the oven and baste with the melted butter that is swimming at the bottom of the pan. Bake for another 20 minutes and repeat the basting process. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the skin is deep golden brown and sensationally crisp. An hour total is a pretty good gauge but ovens and size of chicken varies.
One of my favorite things about this dish are the buttery brown bits at the bottom of the baking pan. My sisters and I would pick at this every time and probably got away with it most of the time since that's how it works with grandmas. I swear, take a spoon and just take a little bite...sounds offensive but I know what I'm talking about here.
I served this with a kale and asparagus brown rice which I'll post later this week!
Thanks Nana, this recipe is a keeper :)

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