Weekly Winner: Fabulous, Fuss-Free “Fried” Chicken – and a killer sauce

magic chickenI just got back from a trip to Denver where I had one of the top five Fried Chicken experiences in my life.  Totally amazing, crispy, crunchy, soul-satisfying chicken.  Not diet-friendly however.  But hey, that’s what vacation is for – to indulge.

Now that I’m home and trying to “recover”, I wanted to try this recipe for Magic Crispy Chicken that I came across in Bon Appetit.  I’ve tried different versions of “oven fried” chicken before and while they are easier and less messy than traditional fried chicken, they seldom deliver on taste and crunch satisfaction.  This version does.  Make extra of the dipping sauce…. you’ll want to put that on just about everything!

Magic Crispy Chicken

Serves 4

1 large egg yolk

3 Tbsp plus 1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp  plus 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1-1/2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 large)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp honey

Pinch of cayenne

3 Tbsp finely chopped chives

Procedure:

  1. Place rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450F.  Whisk egg yolk, 3 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp mustard, 1-1/2 tsp salt and several grinds of black pepper in a large bowl until smooth.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. With a knife parallel to the cutting board, slice breast into 1/2″-thick cutlets.  Place in bowl and turn with tongs to evenly coat.  Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium.  Add a pinch of panko.  If tiny bubbles appear instantly, the oil is hot enough.  Add remaining panko and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Let panko cool in pan about 5 minutes.
  4. Place a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.  Using tongs, place a piece of chicken in panko and pat all over with panko, pressing firmly to adhere.  Lightly shake off excess and place chicken on rack.  Repeat with remaining chicken, spacing evenly apart on rack.  Discard any remaining panko.
  5. Bake chicken until cooked through and breadcrumbs are deep golden brown, 10-15 minutes.  Let cool slightly.
  6. Stir honey, cayenne, and remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup mustard in a bowl; season with black pepper.  Add chives to sauce.
  7. Serve chicken with sauce alongside for dipping.