As summer winds down, it’s time to celebrate that most ubiquitous vegetable of the season: Corn. This tasty grain is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins that benefit human health. While consumption of processed corn products like high-fructose corn syrup has been linked to increased risk of various cancers, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, consumption of whole corn and other grains is believed to do quite the opposite.
This week’s recipe is a delicious take on oven fried chicken using cornmeal as a major component of the crust. It was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”
François de la Rochefoucauld
Cornmeal-Crusted Oven Fried Chicken
Gourmet Magazine (September 1993)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest (Meyer lemon is recommended)
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup fine dry breadcrumbs (Panko Japanese-style breadcrumbs work great and are handy to have in the pantry)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
- ½ tsp paprika
- Egg wash (beat 2 large eggs with 2 Tbsp cold water and 1 Tbsp lemon juice)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, shallots, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add the chicken, stir to coat, and let it marinate, covered and chilled, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours or overnight. (Note: you can do this in a gallon Ziplock bag instead of a bowl.)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. In another large bowl, combine the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, the remaining teaspoon of salt, paprika, and remaining ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Remove each piece of chicken from the marinade with a slotted spoon, letting the excess marinade drip off, dip it in the egg wash, and dredge it in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess. (Note: Use one hand to dip the chicken in egg wash, and switch to the other to dredge in the cornmeal mixture.) Arrange the chicken in one layer on a rack and let dry for 30 minutes. Alternatively, the chicken may be prepared to this point 6 hours in advance and kept loosely covered and chilled.
- Arrange the chicken, skin side up, in one layer in a lightly oiled jelly roll or sheet pan, drizzle the butter over, and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes or until crisp and golden. Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain.