A Wicked Scoff...Recipes and Food with Newfoundland and New England Influences.

This blog is dedicated to bring recipes, photographs, anecdotes, reviews and other insights on everything food related. As the name suggests, "A Wicked Scoff" will have a regional flare, a fusion if you will, of both Newfoundland and New England perspectives of the culinary world around me. Thanks for visiting and please come back often as updates will be frequent. Oh yeah, I also like tasting and cooking with regional beers. Expect a beer of the month, often paired with recipes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mary Brown's and Oven Fried Chicken

I haven't met a lot of people who don't enjoy a good piece of fried chicken. There's something extremely satisfying to biting into a hot, crispy yet juicy, well seasoned piece of golden poultry goodness. All around Newfoundland take-out restaurants offer their own version of this southern American classic meal. Just where I grew up in Trinity Bay South, we had lots of fried chicken choices....Mudders, Violet's, Pitcher's and Taylor's all in a line as you drove down the shore. There was nothing better than a feed of Violet's on a Saturday night on the way home from the bars.

Another fried chicken joint that can be found throughout Newfoundland is Mary Brown's, Famous Fried Chicken and Taters (http://www.marybrowns.com/). While not solely a Newfoundland chain, Mary Brown's restaurants are all over The Rock, with others in sections of mainland Canada full of expatriated Newfoundlanders. For any of you reading who have never tried Mary Brown's, if you ever have the opportunity I encourage you to do so. I started eating this wonderfully marinated and seasoned chicken at a very early age, throughout my childhood (see insert of me enjoying some Mary Brown's on the old Newfoundland Railway train out of Whitborne) and teens at every hockey tournament, through late night college "study sessions", and most recently on a trip to the west coast and northern peninsula last September.

As a way to bring that fried chicken taste and satisfaction to my table at home...without the guilt of all the calories and fat, I developed this oven "fried" chicken recipe. I tested it out just this past weekend for a Mother's Day feast for my mother-in-law and in-laws and it was a big hit. Not that I'm biased or anything, but it was some of the finest chicken I ever ate! The marinade and seasoning had penetrated right through the meat, and the crust was crunchy. I used skinless, legs and thighs, but you can use a whole cut up chicken just a s well. I hope it works out as well for you as it did for me.

Oven "Fried" Chicken

In a large bowl, add one chicken, cut into 2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breasts and 2 wings (or 4 lbs of one kind of chicken parts), skin removed.
- add enough buttermilk to cover chicken
- 1 tsp of each of the following: cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, ground thyme, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika

Mix everything well with your hands, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Add 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil to a large baking sheet

In a large bowl, or better yet a double lined paper bag, add
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko (or other dry) breadcrumbs

One at a time, drop wet chicken pieces into bag of flour and shake. Lay chicken on oiled sheet pan. Continue until all the chicken pieces are coated. Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425, and baste top of chicken with rendered fat in the pan, in order to moisten the flour if it is dry. Return to oven for 15 minutes, and turn on the broiler for the final few minutes to crisp the top. Turn off oven and let chicken rest in warm oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and enjoy. All you'll be missing are the taters and the gravy. Oh how i miss Mary Brown's gravy!

I paired my meal with a red potato salad with apple, green onion and hard-boiled egg, and a strawberry-spinach salad.


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