An easy  tasty approach to oven-baked chicken; honey, forget the Shake 'n Bake.

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken

This is a recipe you can "play around with" -- e.g. if you just do not happen to have herbes de Provence in your pantry use dried thyme or sage or another dried herb you fancy.    The original recipe calls for frequent basting with the pan juices, i.e. chicken fat, ugh ugh! ugh! and ugh!. Instead, use a little rosemary-flavored olive oil drizzled over each quarter about halfway through the baking time (a little trick my sister, Jayne, shared with me).  Ensures a nice crispy crust without clogging your arteries.

1 chicken (3 to 4 lb.), cut into quarters*
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (coarse) salt
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon hot paprika**  
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F.  
In a shallow, medium bowl, mix Parmesan cheese, flour, and seasonings.  
Rinse the chicken quarters; pat dry with paper towels.  
Put half a stick of butter (4 tablespoons) in a shallow baking dish, preferably 9 x 13-inch Pyrex pan and allow butter to melt in pan while oven is preheating.  Takes just a few minutes.  Remove pan when butter is melted, set on a heatproof surface, or a couple of potholders; allow oven to continue to preheat.
Dredge a piece of chicken in the melted butter, then in the cheese-flour mixture.  Press gently to coat evenly.  Turn the chicken skin side up and push it to the side of the pan.  Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Bake about 50 to 60 minutes, drizzling with some lightly seasoned olive oil about halfway through the baking time.  The chicken will be  well browned and cooked through.

*You can buy chicken already quartered but it is also fine to pick up a whole chicken and ask your butcher to quarter it for you.  If the meat department is in a good mood they may even agree to remove the breastbone when they do the quartering.

**  If you are unable to get hot paprika, use regular paprika available in all supermarkets and in addition to 1 teaspoons sweet paprika, use 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)

This recipe has been kitchen tested. 

To compare to another buttery oven-fried chicken for breasts rather than quarters, double-click here on Parmesan Chicken Breasts,
                                                                                    OR
To compare to two heart-healthy versions of oven-fried chicken, double-click here on  Oven-fried Chicken (honey-mustard or egg-white-based coating covered with crushed cereal, with or without pecans) or double-click here on No-fry, fried chicken (coating of yogurt-mustard, breadcrumbs and flour).

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