Laurie Colwin, A Confidante In The Kitchen
This oven fried Sunday-night-supper chicken dish, which can also be served at an elegant dinner party, is baked for about two hours (yes, you read that correctly: two hours) until its bread crumb-coated skin is crisp — yet the meat miraculously maintains its moisture. The recipe, adapted from the great food writer Laurie Colwin, is so simple to make that her original version was written out in a brief paragraph, casually instructing the home cook to coat the chicken with mustard, garlic, a little thyme, a pinch of cinnamon. The recipe has been adapted to include measurements and more specific direction, but that should not stop you from absorbing her nonchalance and confidence as you make it, the certainty that it will turn out delicious every time.
Serves 4 to 6
¾ cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups fine dry Panko bread crumbs
Two chickens, 2 to 3 pounds each, quartered, rinsed and pat dried with paper towels
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika, or as needed
Vegetable cooking spray
3 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine mustard, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place the Panko bread crumbs in another large bowl.
Working in batches, coat the chicken pieces with mustard mixture. Shake off excess mustard, then coat completely with bread crumbs. Line a large shallow baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray a baking rack with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange the coated chicken in a single layer on top of the rack.
Dust the chicken with paprika and lightly spritz with vegetable cooking spray. Scatter butter pieces on top. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and crispy, about 2 hours. Depending on the oven, the size of the pan and the size of the chickens, baking time may be as long as 2 1/2 hours. Serve hot or at room temperature.