Not using flour allows the seasoning to sit directly on the chicken and gives it so much more flavor, lessens the calories and for the increasing allergies to gluten, anyone can eat it. This is also fried not using any oil. The chicken has enough fat in the skin and inside to render and create enough oil to become crispy, which also makes it more heart healthy as opposed to a fried flour coating that is loaded with grease.
The recipe is simple. I prefer using bone-in chicken thighs for depth of flavor, but any part will work. The seasoning is simply a dusting of garlic powder, salt and pepper on each side. If you have time, putting your seasoned chicken in the fridge for a few hours, if not overnight, will not only make the flavor more intense, but will tenderize the meat, as well.
The key to this dish is the method and time of cooking. I recommend using cast-iron, but any pan will do. While it does take longer to cook than flash frying, you will have a tasty, tender and moist piece of chicken. Great food is, after all, a labor of love.
• On medium heat, place your chicken skin side up and cook for 30 minutes. Use tongs or a spatula to turn the chicken. A fork will pierce the meat and let out all the juices and will make the meat dry.
• Flip the chicken over and cook skin side down for about 20 minutes.
• Turn the chicken again and reduce heat to low for 20 minutes. By now, the chicken is nearly done. To test doneness, it should be firm to the touch. If you’re still unsure, on one piece, cut next to the bone. If it is pink or red, cook another five minutes.
• Increase the heat to medium high and flip back to skin side down to get it crispy. Depending on your stove, this can take about three to five minutes, taking care to check to make sure they do not get overdone. Once the skin is a deep brown, flip back over and cook for three to five more minutes. I also take this time to crisp up the outer edges, as well. Transfer to a plate and serve.
For those of us who love fried chicken, this is a flavor-packed, crispy, and best of all, healthier version.
Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.