Oven Fried Chicken

It is summer. I mean, really, it's summer. It's really hard to miss here in Oklahoma. The first clue is the stifling heat and humidity that wraps you up like a big, warm, wet blanket and doesn't let go for a few months.

Nevertheless, I continue to maintain that I would rather be hot than cold. Hot is not fun, I will admit that, it is miserable and stifling and sometimes feel like I am boiling alive and like I cannot think because my brain cells are slowly being cooked one by one....

That is my nephew. He looks like he thinks it's too hot.

But I still think cold is worse. I know how to cool off. Granted, I think Oklahoma is hotter than the tropics in the summertime but many of my tried and true techniques perfected over ten years of living on a tropical island still work to at least take the edge off the heat here. But cold... I don't know how to deal with cold. When I'm cold I just freeze up into a little miserable tense ball of cold. I can't get warm, I can't move, it hurts to be cold.

Besides. I love cotton. I really, really, really love loose cotton yoga pants. They are one of my favorite things ever. And it is really hard to rock loose cotton yoga pants when there is snow on the ground. They are much more suited to stifling summer days. But, as the name of this post is "oven fried chicken" and not "loose cotton yoga pants," I digress. Maybe I will write another blog about loose cotton yoga pants. They deserve their own blog post. I'll get back to the point now.

Hot summer days call for picnics and swimming in the cool lake and ice cream (like this)

and lady bugs (like this)

and iced tea and cold fried chicken and watermelon. Cold fried chicken is, in my opinion, the perfect picnic food. You can make it the day before, it is cold and delicious, and just screams SUMMER PICNIC to me. You almost have to eat it while sitting on a red and white checkered tablecloth on the grass.

I guess, however, not everyone has had the privilege of eating cold fried chicken on purpose rather than just because they were too lazy to heat up the leftover fried chicken. When I first proposed the idea as part of a picnic menu, Morgan looked at me like I was a bit crazy. But he now admits that it is alright, and an acceptable picnic item. Mostly because I made him admit it whether he wanted to or not. I digress again.

The only problem with fried chicken on the summer picnic menu is the standing over the hot, popping oil frying chicken for hours and hours. (because it sure seems to take fried chicken hours and hours to cook. Or is that just me?) And hot, popping oil isn't my favorite thing on the best of days. I'm kind of scared of it. It always targets my face. I end up with little red blister bumps all over my arms, kind of greasy, hot, tired, and mad at the world. This is not a good way to start a picnic day, so I propose an alternative to this method of frying chicken: oven fried chicken.

Obviously, oven fried chicken is not actually FRIED chicken, per se, since it is not fried, but it is still crunchy and happy and fully ok for picnics. So I shall show you how to make it, now that I have talked for a sufficiently long time to probably put you to sleep.

The main ingredient in oven fried chicken (besides the chicken), the secret weapon of crunchiness, as shown to me by my mommy, is CORN FLAKES. Crunchy crispy corn flakes make our chicken all crispy and fried-like.

You take the corn flakes and crunch them up into little pieces with your hands. It's fun. Then you add flour and spices to make it a proper covering for chicken.

My favorite spices in this recipe are seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Lots of each, for maximum flavor impact.

Now in another bowl we mix eggs and milk for a wash to get the crunchy to stick to the chicken. 

Dip each drumstick (or thigh, it works well on thighs too) into the egg-milk mixture.

Then coat it well in the crunchy mixture.

And lay them out on a baking tray. You want the tray to have sides, and if possible it would be best to put the chicken up on a rack on the tray for maximum crunchiness. I didn't have a rack that fit my tray. But we survived anyways.

Bake these delicious noms until the chicken is cooked through. You can tell that chicken is cooked through if, when you stick it with a knife, clear juice runs out. No juice, and it is not cooked enough. Red juice, and it is not cooked enough. Clear juice, and it is cooked enough. Make sure to stick it deep though, and near the bone, to check in the middle of the chicken. It takes about 45 minutes for drumsticks to bake well in my oven.

The result is crunchy deliciousness, without standing over evil popping oil!

Sherman thought the drumsticks looked like something he should help eat. But he was not given a drumstick. I think I offended him. Oh well. He will get over it.

Oven Fried Chicken Recipe:

2 eggs
3/4 c milk

1 c crushed corn flakes
1/4 c flour
garlic powder
seasoned salt

To Do:
Preheat oven to 350 F. 
Beat eggs and milk together in one bowl.
In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Season to taste... I use a lot of seasoning, it depends on what you like.
Dip the chicken first in the wet, then in the dry ingredients, coating thoroughly.

Alternatively for a thicker coating, mix the flour and seasonings separately from the crushed corn flakes, and dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg mixture, then the corn flakes. 

Bake chicken for about 45 minutes for drumsticks, or until juice runs clear and chicken is cooked thoroughly. Enjoy hot or cold!

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