Monday, January 10, 2005

Chicken Mexicana

Rose wanted to cook dinner and chose this recipe from The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Cookbook. Not only does she love oven fried chicken but the flavor twist appealed to her. Surprise lesson that was included for her ... how to cut up a whole chicken into pieces. It's so handy that a chicken has two of everything so I could show her how it worked and then she could try it out herself. We only baked one chicken instead of two, per Rose's decision.

As to where the "Mexicana" part of the recipe came in, we are still in doubt. Other than the obvious green chiles and cilantro there is scant Mexican about the dish. However, it was delicious no matter what it was named and we will be making it again.

Prep: 15 minutes
Bake: 40-45 minutes
Makes 8 main-dish servings.

Step 1:
1 can (4 to 4-1/2 ounces) chopped mild green chiles (Rose chose to leave these out)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix in small bowl.

Step 2:
2/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley (when I'm given a choice like that I always choose cilantro!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
On waxed paper, mix ingredients.

Step 3:
2 chickens (3 pounds each), each cut into 8 pieces and skin removed
Brush mustard mixture evenly onto chicken. Coat with bread-crumb mixture, firmly pressing crumb mixture onto chicken.

Step 4:
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
Grease 17" x 11-1/2" roasting pan. Place chicken in roasting pan. With pastry brush, lightly dab oil onto chicken.

Bake chicken (do not turn) 40-45 minutes until crisp and juices run clear when pierced with tip of knife. Serve with salsa and tortillas, if you like.

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