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Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

Dinner. It just doesn't ever go away. Every day you have to eat something and you have feed that kid something for supper. When you are feeding people on a daily basis, it can't all be risotto and homemade pasta because on most week nights, you are going to need dishes that are delicious, quick, nutritious and easy to throw together in a hour. I had some skinless, bone in chicken breasts that had to get used today and a bit of buttermilk so I settled on some sort of buttermilk marinated chicken. Doesn't take a brain surgeon to come to that conclusion, does it? From that point, it's all about what sort of spices and other flavourings you add to the buttermilk that separate the men from the boys.

Regardless, I just wanted to make sure I was on the right track with my plans so when I found this really basic recipe on TLC and it didn't involve 19 kids and counting or american gypsy's, I knew I had found a good, solid base to work from.

I didn't follow the actual recipe really closely but it gave me my starting point. I am still very much in love with my smoked paprika so you know there is some of that in there. Again, as always, if I were making this for just the adults, I would have added some hot sauce and I am thinking of trying this again and using some of my Frank's buttery wing sauce that I brought home from a trip to Wegmans over  the border. This was so quick and easy and really tasty that I can see it becoming the basis for a regular oven fried chicken option. Of course it doesn't taste like real fried chicken but I don't deep fry at home and it is a bazillion times more healthy than real fried chicken so you can actually make this all the time and not feel like you are putting nails in the family coffin. It was really very tender and moist and the coating got nice and crispy so it's not like it's all that far from the fried chicken experience. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a great fried chicken but I try not to eat that sort of thing very often and save it for a rare treat at a couple restaurants that do a fabulous fried chicken. If you live in Toronto and you haven't Tommy's eaten fried chicken at Stockyards, you aren't enjoying a life worth living.

Oven Fried Chicken
adapted from TLC buttermilk oven fried chicken

3 skinless, bone in chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbls smoked paprika
pinch kosher salt
1 tsp cumin

1 1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup all purpose flour
pinch kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika

mix the buttermilk with paprika, salt and cumin and soak the chicken breasts all afternoon if you can but at least for a few hours.

preheat the oven to 400F
Line a baking tray with foil. Put a grill or some sort of rack on top so that the chicken won't be sitting on the actual pan and oil that rack. It's better if you get air and heat circulation around the whole pieces of chicken.

mix the panko, flour, salt and pepper and paprika and put in a shallow bowl.
Remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shake off the excess marinade and coat completely in the crumb mixture and set on the rack. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking oil (you can use a cooking spray or you can actually keep some olive oil in a small spray bottle in the kitchen) Let it sit for ten minutes before putting it the oven.

Bake for about 50 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and the juices are clear.

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