Chicken Little

Working on a project related to a favorite subject: memories of school lunch. Paging through files, I came across a recipe I tried once before and loved, and decided to make it for dinner. (Forgive me; camera issues so no pix today.)

It’s an oven-“fried” chicken, NOT healthful but delightful to anyone who loves crispy chicken skin. And easy. Here’s how:

In a saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Arrange 6-8 skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (I used thighs) on a rimmed baking pan. Pour the butter sauce over. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. YES, Two Seventy Five. And YES, 1 1/2 hours. Turn the chicken at least once during cooking. The result is golden, crispy, meltingly tender chicken.

I actually didn’t eat the skin as much as I wanted to; tummy just can’t take that big a hit of fat, but the skin is important to keeping the meat moist.

For a healthier version, I’m going to try 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, (or salt-free herb mix, see below), 1 tablespoon raw sugar, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Same cooking plan.

You might also try an ingredient many are turning to: Kirkland Salt Free Seasoning Mix from Costco. It comes in gigando containers and includes 24 organically grown herbs and dried vegetables. It’s the slow cooking that does it.

This recipe comes from the files of the School Food Service program. I broke it down from 100 servings (42 pounds chicken!).



  1. Vadalia

    January 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I made this chicken on Tuesday night. I did not EVEN have to ask how it was — Hubby exclaimed right away, “This is delicious!” All that was left on his plate were 2 chicken bones. I used ghee instead of whole butter (dairy allergy), 1/2 tsp salt instead of 1 tsp, added a dash of garlic salt, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne to your ingredients. I couldn’t imagine using a tablespoon of sugar and 2 of vinegar, but I trusted you, and you were RIGHT. Yum, yum, yum.

  2. Anna

    February 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    My kids never touch chicken thighs, but this time they wolfed down the whole platter. This will remain in my recipe book as “Chicken Wanda”. I used my halogen oven (the one consisting of a huge glass bowl with the heating element on the lid), to say it turned out great would be an understatement.

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