Friday, September 2, 2011

Margaret's Chicken (known in our house as "New Baby Chicken")

 Little fingers reach for my version of Margaret's Chicken, 2011.
After making my father-in-law's special sauce I gained a new enthusiasm for my family recipe project, so I decided to tackle another family favorite-- Margaret's Chicken.  My mother-in-law Jane made this chicken from her daughter Margaret's recipe on the day we brought our oldest daughter home from the hospital.  I remember thinking that this was the most delicious chicken I had ever eaten in my LIFE.  And it wasn't just because it was the first "real" food I'd eaten in the three days since giving birth to my daughter.  It really was good and we've eaten it many times in the past five years.

Since then, I've adapted it into a creation of my own making, but I always think of the kindness and stealth of my mother-in-law.  Knowing that I probably wouldn't be up for visitors, but would need a good meal, she dropped off a tupperware container of this chicken on my doorstep on that very special day.  I love watching my daughter eat my version of Margaret's chicken, especially because I've changed the recipe to suit her taste buds.  I happen to think it's pretty delicious in both forms.  Here's mine.

"New Baby" Chicken (or Susan's Version of "Margaret's Chicken")

Ingredients:

  • one whole chicken cut into 10 pieces (I like getting fresh chickens from Chinatown via our local produce market or from the farmer's market.  When I cut the chicken, I cut it up into the usual eight pieces, and then divide each breast into chunks, cut across the grain.)
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper

Instructions:

  • Cut chicken into eight or ten pieces.  The breasts will get drier if you cut them into chunks, but that's the way my girls like it.  You can also remove the skin of the chicken for a lower-fat version.  I usually remove it from the breasts because my children don't like the chicken skin, but do like the crispy coating.  
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  Note:  it's best to used only dried herbs in this coating.  
  • Dip each piece of chicken in the coating mixture and place on a baking sheet.  (I use a jelly roll pan.)
  • Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and cook for one hour.
  • Let rest for a few minutes before serving.