Home Cooking


Oven-Baked Lightly Breaded Chicken


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Home Cooking 11

Oven-Baked Lightly Breaded Chicken

Jim Leff | Sep 26, 2010 01:57 PM

Many years ago, I went to a jazz gig of my mentor, Arnie Lawrence. Arnie was never real famous, but he had a cast of hangers on (I suppose I was one of them). On the break, Arnie invited me in the dressing room, because one of his fans had brought him some ridiculous (that's good) chicken.

It was a generously large baking dish wrapped in foil. When we folded back the aluminum, the aroma was amazing. It was breaded/baked chicken, moist (and there was a bit of residual sauce in the pan) but not waterlogged. I guess the analogy that comes to mind is "shake and bake", but it definitely wasn't that. It had been cooked by a guy who was at one time a known chef, but was retired and only cooked for Arnie's gigs. It was classy and soulful both. It was incredible, by far the best baked chicken I've ever had. The breading was perfectly seasoned, and the breading to sauce ratio was a beautiful thing...any more sauce, and the breading would have been gummy, any less breading and the textural intrigue would have been lost. The stuff seemed to float on air, like it was both wet/saturated AND fluffy. It was one of the seminal food moments of my youth.

I understand that the impulse of good home cooks would be to suggest several broad "ways you can do this". But that's not what I want. I want someone to read this, and go "Hey, you know, I know how to make something that TOTALLY fits this description....and here's the recipe!!"


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