Thursday, March 6, 2014

Oven Crunch Chicken

4ft loves "chicken on the bone" (that's what he calls chicken legs or a whole roasted chicken), it's like his favorite chicken ever. It doesn't matter if it's psuedo-fried, roasted, barbecued, baked, whatever -- maybe even raw. His eyes get saucer big and he starts licking his lips the second he knows we're having it. Normally, I get whole chickens when they're like 79 cents a pound (I'm cheap like that) and then roast them with potatoes and carrots but they're not always that cheap and I have a little teeny eeny weeny freezer so I can't buy them in bulk and store them up.

So when they're not cheap, it's too hot to bake for hours on end, or I just don't want to go through the hassle of carving it, I just buy a package of chicken legs -- that's his favorite part of the chicken anyway (you should see this kid around a turkey leg. He's a leg guy). And, of course, the best thing to do with chicken legs is fry them except it's too much oil for my stomach and it makes me nauseous. Luckily, there is panko bread crumbs which gives chicken an amazing crunch without frying it in oil. And oven-pseudo-fried chicken is even better when marinated. Especially if it's a yogurt and buttermilk marinade. It gives the meat great flavor as well as tenderizes the meat. I love me some marinades. 

My family actually likes this chicken recipe better than the regular fried recipes I used to use (back before I had my surgery before it made me want to yak). 4ft would eat the entire pack of chicken legs cooked this way if I'd let him. I'm not sure where he puts all the food as he's only nine (I don't know what I'm going to do when he hits the teenaged years and eats even more -- I guess it's a good thing I don't eat so much anymore). Even my husband, who hates "chicken on the bone" because it's effort to eat (yeah, he's that lazy), gobbles these up too.

Oven Crunch Chicken

1 5.3 oz Greek vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBS minced garlic

6 drumsticks
3/4 cup panko crumbs
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp season all salt

1.) In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt, buttermilk, salt, pepper, and minced garlic and mix well. 
2.) Put 6 chicken legs in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag and pour marinade over them. Seal bag and shake making sure all the chicken is covered. Get out most the air and let set for at least 4 hours.
3.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
4.) Prepare a baking sheet with a wire rack in it. Spray with olive oil.
5.) In a shallow dish, combine panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, and season all salt. Mix well.
6.) Remove chicken from yogurt marinade, shake off excess and dredge through panko mixture and place on wire rack.
7.) Bake on wire rack for 15 minutes, flip chicken legs over and bake for 15 minutes more until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear.
8.) Eat.

**Nutritional Info per Serving (makes 6 servings)
Calories: 184
Protein: 22
Fat: 8
Carbs: 7
Sugar: 1

** Nutritional info is not an exact measurement due to leftover panko mixture and the amount of marinade that sticks to the chicken legs. 

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