An easy  tasty approachto 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 donot happen to have herbes de Provence in your pantry use dried thyme orsage or another dried herb you fancy.    The original recipecalls 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 quarterabout halfway through the baking time (a little trick my sister, Jayne, sharedwith me).  Ensures a nicecrispy crust without clogging your arteries.

1 chicken (3 ½to 4 lb.), cut into quarters*
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cupall-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (coarse) salt
1 ½ teaspoondried 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, andseasonings.  
Rinse the chicken quarters; pat dry with paper towels.  
Put half a stick of butter (4 tablespoons) in a shallow baking dish, preferably9 x 13-inch Pyrex pan and allow butter to melt in pan while oven ispreheating.  Takes just a few minutes.  Remove pan when butter ismelted, set on a heatproof surface, or a couple of potholders; allow oven tocontinue to preheat.
Dredgea 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 tothe side of the pan.  Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Bake about 50 to 60 minutes, drizzling with some lightly seasoned olive oilabout halfway through the baking time.  The chicken will be  wellbrowned and cooked through.

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

**  If you are unable to get hot paprika, use regular paprika availablein all supermarkets and in addition to 1 ½teaspoons 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,
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 onNo-fry, fried chicken (coating of yogurt-mustard, breadcrumbs and flour).

You can find this and related recipes by tapping here on the Home Cookin’ index.


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