My first reaction to this recipe was, "Huh? What? Ew. No way." I didn't initially want to give this a try because I was convinced that it wouldn't work out, and with the rising cost of groceries, trying strange flavor combinations and potentially ruining dinner sounds like a waste of my time and money.
But, I'm trying to get better about experimenting with different flavor combinations, and this recipe (and last night's) was a good way to test a few interesting and delicious foods together. An item on my Christmas wish list, The Flavor Bible, discusses various flavor combinations that are unique and surprisingly delicious. (Looking for a last minute gift for me? This is a good one. :-D :hint hint:)
Anyway, I decided to give this a try and after reading some reviews and blog entries from the women on a cooking message board I frequent. I figured that a few dozen 'nesties' couldn't all the wrong, right? Overall this was really good, although I'll use a different herb next time, and let the yogurt sit out overnight and strain through a cheesecloth, but more on that later. This recipe is originally from The Pioneer Woman. I love her writing, almost as much as I love Ina Garten.
Oh! Speaking of Ina....did you catch Food Network Addict on her Thanksgiving special? Read his blog for behind the scenes photos and info on the magic that is Ina Garten. Anywho, on to my dinner...
Crispy Yogurt Chicken
(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
2 lbs. Chicken pieces of your choosing (I used legs and thigh pieces)
2 c. plain, unflavored yogurt
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 c. fresh parsley (or fresh whatever), chopped finely
2 c. panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Season chicken with salt.
In a bowl, mix yogurt with minced garlic & parsley. Stir the mixture until well-blended. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the yogurt mixture, stirring to combine.
Pour Panko bread crumbs into a second bowl. Season well with salt.
Dip chicken pieces into yogurt mixture, one by one, coating thoroughly. Roll chicken into Panko bread crumbs, covering chicken completely. Place chicken on a buttered cookie sheet or baking dish.
Place a pat of butter on each piece of chicken to keep the breading from drying out. Cover in foil and bake at 350 F. for one hour. Remove foil and cook for 15 minutes more or until chicken pieces are brown and sizzling.
- Some of "P-Dub's" readers tried this and noticed that the underside of the chicken was soggier than 95% of the surface area. I had that problem on just two of the chicken pieces, but I think that's because I used my broiler pan, so there was more space for heat and air to circulate. To solve this problem, use your broiler pan instead of a baking dish, or place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and place the chicken on the cooling rack. No need to butter your baking dish or cooling rack.
- Thyme + chicken = love. In this I firmly believe. Next time, I'm definitely trying some fresh thyme. Or chives. Mmm...chives....
- This tastes a lot like fried chicken, but minus the flour, buttermilk, and oil that's common in so many fried chicken recipes. It's a little lighter (but not much) and (I think) a little crispier than some fried chicken.
- Next time, I will let the chicken pieces marinate in a little lemon juice and some herbs for a few hours, just because I like the taste of lemon and chicken.
- One reviewer noticed that letting the yogurt strain on a cheesecloth overnight in the fridge helps the Panko adhere a little better to the chicken. Not sure if that'll work or not, but it can't hurt to try!
- Panko has a tendency to dry out, so placing a pat of butter on each chicken piece is a good way to keep everything moist and make sure everything cooks evenly.