A Spice of Life

Some days you look at everything currently cooked and uncooked in the fridge and feel like, “Everything in here is fine, but I’ve eaten the same combos too many days in a row. Normally that wouldn’t bother me but the past few days have been stress and I want something… very slightly different.”

Like, some days you want something spicy. Just not too spicy. Enough spice and enough different flavors to be Not Quite what you’ve been noshing lately.

This recipe is one I haul out every so often for that. I can’t seem to get the coating nearly as crispy-good as standard fried chicken, and it tends to stick to my pans (I never got in the habit of using cooking spray) so I don’t make it frequently. But it does make a good change from just plain baked chicken. And leftovers reheat well. If you’re feeding a family you likely won’t have much in the way of leftovers, while if it’s just you or a couple people you can shove the rest in the fridge or freezer for alternate meals.

I find it goes well with pasta, kind of like chicken parmesan. Baked potatoes also work. Or even just a salad if your gut’s being cranky about starches. Though if you do that I’d recommend some tomatoes in the salad; they pick up the spices nicely!

Dishes you will want: Two shallow bowls. At least one pan to spread the meat out in. A spatula to turn the chicken during cooking. A teaspoon, a tablespoon, and a half-cup measure. Yes, I’ve used regular flatware spoons to measure. Recipe was originally from Carol Fenster’s Gluten-Free 101.

GF Oven-Baked Chicken

Base coating:

1/2 cup buttermilk or substitute (yogurt, sour cream, soured plant milks, etc.)

1/4 tsp cayenne (or less)

1/4 tsp garlic powder


Dry coating:

1/4 cup brown rice flour

3 tbsp cornmeal

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper (I omit, I’m not a pepper fan.)

1/4 tsp paprika (I tend to add more of this instead.)

4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 1 lb. (I’ve also used breast pieces, and if you scrape the bowls this recipe can coat about 2 lb or so total, really.)


cooking spray (I butter the pan instead, the spray probably sticks less.)

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease your pan. Make sure the chicken is thawed, or at least mostly unfrozen. Mix the base coating in one bowl, the dry coating in the other. Take each piece of meat, rub it in the base, then pat it into the dry coating on each side and put your now-coated piece into the pan.

Note, given how much coating sticks to your fingers, it’s best to make sure you’ve trimmed any extraneous fat or whatever off the meat before you dip anything. Yes, off all of it. No, you really don’t want to miss one. Did I mention the sticky fingers? You may want to hit the sink to scrub off before you put the completed pan into the oven. Just to make things less complicated and messy.

Pan into the oven. Bake, turning once, for about 45-60 min, until you can stab the thickest piece and the juices are no longer pink. And serve!


7 thoughts on “A Spice of Life

  1. Sounds nice! A good flexible chicken recipe is always welcome!

    I make something like this with misc chicken bits, whatever’s on sale, and also random spices that I have on hand! Right now that would be *checks rack* a tellecherry black pepper and cayenne mix, garlic, a bit of ginger, cumin, and a touch of fresh ground pink salt. We’ve always held more to a whatever you got/kitchen sink approach to spices in my family than following recipes exactly there. ^__^

    If I’m already gonna be frying fish or chicken, I’ll grab some mushrooms and zucchini/squash and fry and batter those up too, as sides.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. An opening word of caution: I haven’t tried this recipe myself yet so I can’t vouch for how it tastes, and it’s obviously not gluten-free as you’ll see from the ingredients list. It’s also not the simplest set of spices to put together, as there are about eleven flavoring ingredients. But allegedly — and I repeat allegedly, as I haven’t yet tried it myself yet — it tastes quite a lot like the fried chicken recipe used by a certain Kentucky-based chain.

    (I will also note, just in case it turns out that this recipe is the actual recipe that a certain chain guards as a trade secret, that I have never been employed by any American fast-food chain, and have never had any opportunity to gain access to their trade secrets. I obtained it from a publicly-available source, a Youtube video that to the best of my knowledge has not been taken down by any copyright claims against it.)

    Anyway, that being said, here’s a fried chicken recipe that allegedly is pretty good:

    1 egg, beaten
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    One 3 pound chicken, cut into 6 pieces

    1/3 pound of Crisco
    1 teaspoon ground oregano
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon ground sage
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1 teaspoon dried marjoram
    1 teaspoon pepper
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 Tablespoons paprika
    1 teaspoon onion salt
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    2 Tablespoons Accent (MSG based seasoning)

    1. Combine the egg and buttermilk in a large bowl.
    2. Combine the flour and all the herbs and spices in a separate bowl.
    3. Roll the chicken pieces in the egg and buttermilk mixture, then roll the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour mixture until completely covered.
    4. Deep fry for 15 minutes at 170°C.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As a lazy person… I tend to reach for the olive oil instead of buttering the pan, unless it’s a pan that really needs to be buttered. I mean, I like buttering the pan because it’s fun, but it’s harder to burn olive oil.

    And since I tend to rub olive oil all over a chicken anyway, it’s a timesaver on the pan.

    Yogurt on a chicken is also good, and also lazier than buttermilk, but not terribly Southern/French. I’ve never tried to bread a chicken and fry it with yogurt, though. I wonder how it would work?

    And then there’s the “foil everything” school, which is great for cooking things in foil packets, and also for using wrapped oven racks instead of cookie sheets.

    Liked by 1 person

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