Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Best Oven-Baked Chicken You'll Ever Make

There are days where I come up with a recipe I like and really want to share it with the world. But two situations sometimes occur: firstly, Life with a capital “L” leads me in a profusion of directions and blogging is the last thing I think about; and secondly, the most common of the two, I don’t have much of a Story behind it.

You see, I’m not partial to simply posting the recipe without a little introduction about it at least. Cooking is linked to just about everything in my life. Food is a basic need after all. We need nourishment to thrive, to survive, and to simply enjoy the process of being nourished. 

Believe me when I say recipes are plentiful in this household, hurriedly written on notepads or loose paper, jotted down in pencil or ink (and sometimes a Sharpie permanent marker). I am always changing the recipe based on the ingredients I do or do not have, removing one in place for another, adding more to reach the consistency I desire, etc. There are a few I thought I’d posted already or had lost in my attempts to organize my life, and there are many that I truly enjoyed and wished to post but didn’t have my camera at the time and thus no photos to provide.

If there aren’t any photos to post or stories to tell, a recipe will not be published. It’s that plain and simple.

“Why is that?” you wonder. Well, I’ll tell you. I’m not a computer. I’m not a cooking robot who wants to keep it formal and prim. I want to show you how my photography skills and storytelling are steadily improving. I want to open a little window for you to see what goes on in my life and inside my head. I’m a real person, one who succeeds and fails, laughs and cries, learns as she goes, and loves to share her passions with others.

In short, I want perspective… for you and for me.

I want to meet people who are like-minded (or not), who have stories of their own that are related to mine. I want you to comment, to provide constructive criticism and encouraging words to others as well as myself, and to do so lovingly and with respect. I want you share your lives and your recipes with me and those who visit this site, because what you have to say may be the most important thing for someone to hear.

If you really think about it, the Gluten Free movement is rather amazing. Actually, any form of movement, whether it’s for a kind of dietary lifestyle, an ethical standard of living, a political and/religious principle, or a love for all things Sci-Fi, there are people all over the world who you can talk to, become friends with, give and receive advice, and spread the word. This can be just as negative as it is positive; still though, the movement spreads and spreads. Gluten free eating is significantly easier to accomplish these days with pre-made CGF products, restaurants and grocery stores that cater to those with food allergies, and most certainly blogs (ahem). There are people out there who truly care about the health of their family, their community, and the world. That’s why I do the GFRR every month (at least, I try). I want to show you just how marvelous and freeing any form of “restrictions” are. 

I made grain-free popovers, people. That feat alone showed me just how far I could go with a little effort and persistence. And it doesn’t stop there. There are recipes I’ve yet to try, and many of them I know are likely harder to successfully create than others (the following being the simplest recipe anyone can do), but they are all doable. Remember, someone before you made it delicious, and someone after you will also. So keep at it and keep moving forward. You’ll get there.

As I said, this recipe is easy-peasy. But... it isn’t really a recipe. It’s a method. Actually, it’s a perfect-every-time-you-do-it method. The recipe itself is up to you. It is one we have almost once a week, just like chili is. All you need is chicken (with skin and bones, if you please), some aluminum foil, a paper towel, a rather large deep-dish pan (depending on how many you want to feed), a silicon brush (optional, but I recommend it) and a hot oven.

For those who say they burn water or look to the microwave to make food edible, I promise this is a recipe you can do. Just follow the directions, be patient, and have fun. You are going to make the best oven-baked chicken you have ever tasted.

Let’s start with the oven, shall we? Preheat to 425ºF, and be sure that the shelf is in the very center of the oven. While you wait, line the deep pan with one or two sheets of aluminum foil. Lay the chicken pieces flat on the foil. In order to get a crispy skin, dab the skin dry with the paper towel. 

At this point, you can spice it up any way that sparks your fancy. I typically do sea salt and cracked pepper, but I grew up with Old Bay (gluten free, by the way) on my oven-baked chicken and heartily recommend it. In this case, I used chili powder in addition to the former two. No oil is required or encouraged (more on that later).


When the oven is ready, place the dish on the center shelf and bake for at least 45 minutes until checking. At this time, a pool of chicken fat will line the bottom of the pan, and I use the drippings to coat the skin with the silicon brush for epic crispiness. By one hour it should be done, but my family is partial to the meat being removed from the bone easily with a fork, so we bake it longer (around 15 to 30 minutes).

The result is a crispy skin, moist interior, and fall-off-the-bone and melt-in-your-mouth chicken. Next time I want to mix in honey with drippings and coat the chicken.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! How do you prepare oven-baked chicken (you know, aside from that fact it was baked in the oven)? What seasonings have you tried, enjoyed, and disliked? What methods have worked to get the skin especially crispy, or the meat particularly moist and falling off the bone?

1 comment:

  1. i actually try this recipe once when i went to my husband neighborhood ,also attempted to cook it (my mother inlaw thought me) well its very tasty and very tasty meals indeed