Dinner-Chicken-Turns-Oven fried chicken
So, you know cooking with REAL food is good for your health and tastes better, but, golly, it’s so much more expensive! Well, I have a long answer to that involving health care dollars, environmental costs, human welfare costs (immigration issues, migrant workers, sharecropping farmers). But, what I’m going to show you today is how to turn a $16 whole chicken into $25 worth of chicken parts, along with one of our family’s favorite recipes. Anyone who’s been to a Homestead Hog Harvest class and cooked with me knows I’m not so much of a recipe person, but I’ve reconstructed it below, along with my suggested alterations.
This is an easy, healthful way to make a classic favorite.
- 3.5-4.0 pound Pasture raised whole chicken
- 1.5 cups ground millet or millet flour
- 2 tsp. mineral sea salt: Himalayan pink salt or Real Salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic: fresh or dried
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and/or sage (optional)
- fat to cover pan bottom: bacon fat, lard, butter, sesame oil, grapeseed oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour or meal, salt, pepper, and spices in a gallon size plastic bag. Shake well.
Cut whole chicken into serving pieces.
Place chicken pieces into bag, seal, and shake well to coat the chicken thoroughly. Set aside while you prep the pan.
Put enough fat (Mangalitsa lard, butter, sesame oil, or grapeseed oil) in a 9x13 pan so that it is about 1/8 - 1/4 inch deep. Place in oven to melt the fat if using a solid one.
One by one, dredge the chicken in the fat, skin side down. Set into pan skin side up for baking. If there's a little fat in the bottom of the pan when you're done, it's ok.
Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the skin is crispy brown and the juices run clear when you poke a piece of chicken.
Other options for the flour: corn meal, almond meal, wheat flour (it's no longer gluten free, but it'll work).
Feel free to adjust the salt and spices to taste. We like lots of salt and garlic, so I add more of that. The spices I use depend on the mood of the evening. Experiment with new ones, like parsley, basil, fennel, and corriander for a more Mediterranean taste.
Spices are a great way to add more nutrition and more variety to your diet. Walk on the wild side and try adding one new one a week, or play with different combinations. This recipe is very accommodating that way.
DO NOT use olive oil. The ones mentioned are healthy for you and stand up under the heat of cooking. Olive oil breaks down and goes rancid when heated. It's great for raw foods and salads, not so much for cooking.