Dan’s Chicken

I was at the Condon hotel a few weeks ago and had a lovely conversation with one of my readers, Dorothy Schott. Did she have a favorite recipe to share? One that has few ingredients, is simple to make, and leaves few things to wash? She pondered for a moment then told me about a foolproof chicken recipe. Well, actually it is her husband Dan’s recipe:

Garlic Salt
or any other seasoning

So I bought some chicken and tried it. Chicken can be difficult to cook to the just right doneness. It’s either undercooked and slightly raw, or overcooked and tough and dry. Getting it perfectly cooked so that it is juicy and succulent can be like babysitting; it needs to be checked on constantly. I made this recipe three times, in three different ovens. It came out perfectly every time, and received rave reviews from everyone who ate it. Here’s how:

Prepare chicken pieces, any kind you like. Trim off the fat and the skin too if you don’t like to eat it. Rinse and pat dry, but not too dry, as it needs to be moist to get the seasonings to adhere to the chicken. Put a wire rack on a rimmed cookie sheet or a jelly roll pan, lined with foil to make cleanup easy. Preheat the oven to 400⁰. Cook for exactly 25 minutes, then turn the pieces over and cook for another 25 minutes. That’s it! What could be easier?

Dan seasons his chicken with paprika and garlic salt. For some reason, I started pondering on the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe and searched the internet to see if the recipe was public knowledge. Apparently a lot of other people have tried to crack the code on this secret recipe too. I looked at a few; I didn’t have all of the herbs and spices the various recipes called for, so I used the ones I had on hand in equal measurements of one tablespoon: Italian herbs, dried hot mustard, paprika, garlic salt, ginger. I mixed them in a bowl big enough to add one piece at a time to thoroughly coat. If you don’t like spicy, eliminate or reduce the hot mustard.

I cut up some small red potatoes, tossed them with olive oil and garlic salt and put them alongside the chicken in the oven. They went in at the same time and came out at the same time. When I pulled them out of the oven they had a lovely caramelized brown color and were slightly crunchy.

The total preparation time was about fifteen minutes. I can’t wait to tell Dorothy about my mock KFC recipe with Dan’s way of cooking chicken.