Since starting Weight Watchers in August, I’ve eschewed nearly all deep-fried foods. A mozzarella stick may have made it past my lips once or twice in the past 4 months, and perhaps the errant french fry or two, but that’s about it. I’d been jonesing for some good fried chicken before I came up with this recipe, but wasn’t about to give up so many Points for just one piece of deep-fried fowl, so I decided to make my own kind.
It ended up being AWESOME.
One of these days I’ll learn to take better pictures of food. This is the un-fried fried chicken I made, accompanied by roasted red potatoes and spinach wilted in a bit of bacon fat. Here’s how I did it.
- 8 really meaty drumsticks (any piece will do, but this is what I used; they are low in points)
- 1 pint buttermilk
- 3/4 to 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (panko really is best here)
- seasonings of your choice (I used this in the marinade: http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/brisket-of-love-bbq-seasoning-rub)
You will want to marinate the chicken overnight in 1 cup buttermilk, plus whatever seasonings you like. I put the drums in a gallon ziplock bag, poured the buttermilk over it and dumped about 2 tablespoons of the seasoning in. I shut the bag, shook it around a bit to distribute everything evenly and then laid the bag in a baking dish in the fridge overnight.
The next day, I got a baking sheet, covered it in foil (easy cleanup, yo) and then laid a baking rack inside it. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F.
I poured the panko and about a teaspoon of Lawry’s seasoning salt in a separate gallon ziplock bag. Then, using tongs, I took the drumsticks out of the buttermilk marinade, shook them off to remove the excess buttermilk, and put them into the bag with the seasoned panko mixture and shook the hell out of the bag to coat all the drumsticks in the crumb coating. Most recipes have you use an egg for this step, but I skipped it due to my husband’s food allergies.
I then placed the drumsticks on the rack and put them in the oven at 400 for about an hour, or until the juices ran clear when the meatiest part of the drums was pierced with a fork. The legs I used were quite meaty, so they needed a hair over an hour to cook (about 1:15). I turned them about 20 minutes before the end of the cook time so that the underside would crisp up as well. Cooking them on the rack keeps them from turning soggy, and really, eliminates the need for oil. The fact that you are cooking them at a high temp crisps the outside, and makes a nice crunchy coating for the chicken.
This recipe served two hungry eaters. Drums typically do not have a lot of meat, so I usually eat 3 or 4, which makes a satisfying meal when accompanied by veggies or salad.