Saturday, January 16, 2010

Money Saving Oven Fried Chicken...

So I bought this new cookbook, its all about money saving meals.  We can use all of the money saving ideas we can get right now.  Including in our cooking.  So I figured I'd try an experiment and see if we really are going to save money if I cook this two weeks out of this particular cookbook.  Most of it is definately just main course dinner meals.  But breakfast and lunches usually aren't the expensive meals.  Sooo...last night I made this oven fried chicken.  I ended up having to buy only three things for it.  I had the rest at home.  I needed to buy the whole 3 1/2 lb chicken=6.82, butter= 1.99, and some tony's seasoning=1.89.  Now, I did use the whole chicken, although I probably could have boiled up the carcass and made some chicken broth with it, I decided against that, just because, I really didn't want to go through more trouble yesterday.  I didn't use all of the butter, I only used 1/4 cup which is a half of a stick, and there are four sticks, so honestly the butter cost: about .25 cents.  The tonys season, I'll say that I only used .10 cents worth.  So for 7.17, I had the main course of our meal.  Pretty good price.  Now here's the other thing though.  Cutting apart a whole chicken, was NOT my idea of fun.  Next time, I think I'll just buy the pieces, or some drumsticks and thighs instead.  But still, the chicken ended up being very yummy, and we are still eating off of it.  We fed the girls, my husband, me and my friend last night.  My husband and I today for lunch.  And there is still a half of a breast and a drumstick in the fridge for leftovers.  So for just about 9 meals out of it, which is awesome if you ask me.  Of course I had sides, but this is just on the main course of the meal.
Now cutting up the chicken, was not a pleasant experience for me.  I'm one of those people who can get grossed out pretty easily with raw meats of any kind.  Especially when there are still feathers and skin attached....ick!  But luckily, my hero of a husband was around to take apart most of the chicken.  He did most of the dirty work.  I still had to seperate the thigh and the drumsticks myself, and the wings and little drumsticks (I'm not sure what they are really called, biceps, lol?) all by myself.  Again, not pleasant, but I was able to wear my gloves (seriously think that I'm one step away from a hair net, ha ha), and it was a good experience.  Other than taking apart the chicken the rest was easy.  But if you don't want to, or know how to take apart a chicken, then by all means, just buy the already cut up chicken, they had one at the commissary called select pieces, it has drumsticks, thighs and breasts, so that would have probably worked.  You could also use just thighs or drumsticks if thats your preference.  I like the breast, so if I wasn't trying the recipe the way it called for it, I probably would have just done some boneless, skinless breasts.  But thats just personal preference.  So here's the recipe:

1/4 cup butter or margarine (I used butter)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 heaping tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
(I added a tsp of tony's seasoning)
1 cut up whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 lbs)

Heat oven to 425, melt the butter in a 13x9 in pan in the oven.

In a large food storage bag, mix dry ingredients (flour down to tonys).  Put the chicken in the bags and shake really good to make sure its completely coated with flour mixture.  Place chicken skin side down in a single layer on top of butter in pan.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, turn chicken, using tongs.  Bake another 30 minutes longer.  If chicken sticks to pan (mine did not), gently loosen it with fork or turner.

Now I will say that I like to cook my chicken with the skin on, to get the juices and what not.  But when I'm ready to eat it, I take the skin off.  I'm not a skin eater.  But the flavor still turned out great.  You can always lighten up the recipe by removing the skin before cooking, and not melting the butter in the pan, but drizzling a bit of it (say 2 tbl) over the chicken after turning it.

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