Thursday, October 6, 2005

Spicy Oven Fried Chicken

1 chicken cut up (four thigh and leg pieces also work well for this)
4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Penzey's Chili 9000 ( a chili powder that has all KINDS of good stuff in it, and is the base of the chili I've won two work chili cook offs with).
heaping 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground tellecherry pepper
pinch of smoked Paprika
pinch of Penzey's ancho chili powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff, fresh and finely grated, NOT from a green can).
1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking or cookie sheet with foil and sprinkle butter bits on top and place in oven to melt. Keep your eye on it so it doesn't burn. Put the flour, cornmeal, seasonings and cheese in a plastic bag and shake to mix. Put the buttermilk in a shallow, wide bowl or dish and place chicken pieces in the buttermilk for 10-15 minutes, then remove and place pieces one at a time in the bag to coat by shaking.

Place the chicken on the baking pan and turn once to coat with a bit of butter. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes, skin side up. Turn the smaller pieces over carefully so the coating doesn't come off. Breasts can be left skin side up. Bake another 25 minutes. Note: really large breasts may need an additional 5-10 minutes and no, don't go there. :-)

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