So, how is your July thus far? Too early to tell? Yeah, I hear you. July is a special time of the year for us. Kiddo gets another year older every July. And we do something special together as a family every July. Last year, it was 8 days in our nation’s first National Park, Yellowstone. This year we are Oregon-Washington bound. Kiddo has always been interested in earth sciences, so we plan to spend two days exploring Mount Saint Helen. I am so excited about this trip. My sister and her husband live in eastern Oregon. We are meeting on the coast for a little sisterly R and R. I cannot tell you how excited I am!
July is also an exciting month from a culinary perspective, It’s National Baked Bean Month, Hot Dog Month, Ice Cream Month, Picnic Month and Pickle Month. Better yet, it’s also National Culinary Arts Month. July is a month to honor the professionals in the culinary world for their creative spark that we all enjoy. So yeah, July is a great month. That said, today is officially National Fried Chicken Day.
A very long time ago, Hubby had what doctors call a Cardiac Event. Being the nut case that I am, while he was in the hospital, I went home and tossed out everything in the kitchen. No processed foods of any kind. No fried foods. No red meats. No, no, no. It was then that I learned what it means to live life in moderation. Our personal doctor was also our friend. He let me know red meats, in moderation, wasn’t going to kill us. Nor was fried foods. It’s all about portions and balance and pacing. In other words, don’t go eating an entire chocolate cake in one sitting no matter how tempting that might be. It also means you don’t need to live on seaweed and nothing else. Any extreme is unhealthy.
One of the things I learned was how to make a very tasty, very crunchy chicken without breaking out the deep fryer. The secret is all in the corn flakes. While this is an awesome chicken fresh from the oven, it also makes for a great fried chicken to pack for a picnic. After all, July is an awesome month for having a picnic.
Corn Flake Crunchy Oven Fried Chicken
3 tablespoons Kosher salt for brine
2 teaspoons granulated sugar for brine
1 qt Water for brine
2 lbs Chicken Quarters
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 cup Cornmeal
Kosher Salt to taste
Freshly Black Pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 cup Buttermilk
1 tablespoon Milk
3 cups Corn Flakes Cereal
Whisk 3 tablespoons kosher salt and 2 teaspoons sugar with 1 quart of water in a large container.
If the leg and thigh are still connected, cut apart at the joint. Place the thighs into the brine.
Pull skin down from the legs to expose the meat. Place the legs in the brine, cover with lid and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush with oil.
Remove chicken from brine, pat dry. Re-position skin on the legs, pat the skin dry as well. Set aside.
Stir cornmeal, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and oregano in a bowl. Stir buttermilk with a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Place corn flakes in a zip-lock bag. Crush cereal, empty into a pie plate.
Working one piece at a time, coat chicken in cornmeal mixture, dip in seasoned buttermilk, then coat well in crushed corn flakes. Place chicken, evenly spaced, on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake chicken until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.