The Barefoot Bloggers are on a leisurely summer schedule. Normally we post recipes from the Barefoot Contessa on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, but our fearless leader Tara of Smells Like Home has decreed that as long as we get our recipes posted by the end of each month, we are still in the game. And what a great time to be a member of The Barefoot Bloggers. Ina Garten has a new cookbook coming out in October called How easy is That? Tara received an advanced copy of it and had a phone interview with Ina in mid August. She will be posting about it on October 11th on the Barefoot Blogger website. It is nice to know that Ina recognizes our little group and is supportive of us.
One of our recipes for this month was Ina’s oven-fried chicken. It was chosen by Vicki of My Fare Lady. I am happy that she made this choice because I gave up on frying chicken a long time ago. I decided that fried chicken just wasn’t good for us and that it was a messy task. Leave it to The Barefoot Contessa to simplify the process by frying the chicken briefly in oil and then baking it until it is done. It still comes out crispy and delicious. I have also come to the conclusion that enjoying fried chicken occasionally is no worse for me than any other food indulgence. It is all about moderation and variety.
I followed the recipe closely other than skinning the chicken. I used all thighs, but whole chicken pieces are fine too. The chicken marinates overnight in buttermilk. This makes the chicken very juicy and succulent. So don’t forget this important step. The next time I make it, I will add some interesting spices. The chicken was delicious, but it would be even better with a punch of garlic, paprika or whatever The Colonel puts in his famous chicken. So feel free to indulge in this great dish. How bad can that be?
2 chickens, cut in eight serving pieces
1 quart buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Prehieat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 360 degrees on a thermometer.
Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will contiune to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.