Cooking is only my second favorite thing to do on earth. Cooking with people I love is the first. That said, I have to give my husband some of the credit for this recipe. Sunday dinner is a very special time for us, especially when we plan and cook a meal together. Last night, glass of wine in hand, warm inside our kitchen on a cold day, that is just what we did.
Following a law school reunion formal, we had a three hour drive back home from Dallas this weekend, and all the while we discussed what we would cook for Sunday dinner. When we decided on fried chicken, I was really excited to figure out how we would make it paleo. Loving the flavor of pecans, we decided to hit up Central Market on the way into town, where they carry a variety of nut flours in their bulk bins. They did have pecan flour, but if you can't find it, you can make this recipe with almond, hazelnut or walnut meal instead.
We chose to bake the chicken in the oven over frying it in coconut oil. It worked out great because the pecan crust held the juices inside really well, making it some of the most tender and moist chicken I've ever tasted. No buttermilk or brining required! This recipe is actually pretty simple! Make sure you use the raised rack setup for this recipe to ensure even cooking and a crispy crust.
My fried chicken assembly line:
Paleo Oven Fried Chicken
1 chicken, cut into 10 pieces (Martha shows you how here)
1 1/2 cups pecan meal, aka pecan flour
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400º. Line a cookie sheet with foil, then place a drying rack on top of that. Cut up your chicken into 10 pieces and pat the pieces dry with paper towels (Martha shows you how here). In a shallow bowl, whisk the two eggs really well. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, pecan flour to pepper. One piece at a time, dip the chicken in the egg, then the pecan meal mixture, turning to coat well. Place the pieces in a single layer on your drying rack-cookie sheet rig. Bake in the oven 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, or an instant read thermometer registers 160º.
Going into the oven:
So pretty! Have fun in the oven little nuggets!
Voila! How lovely. Oooo-- you know what you could do? Drizzle this with a tiny bit of honey butter? I'm going to try that with my leftovers.
Yummmm. The chicken was delicious. Makes a good looking dinner, huh? Complete with collard greens and mashed potatoes. Dang, I'm a good Southern woman.
When you make this recipe, come back here and leave me a comment to let me know how it turned out! This was a great one-- I'm really proud of it!