Tuesday, October 19, 2010

To The Mattresses Chicken..Now Eat It, I'm Going Back To Bed.

    Back in the day when we'd have some nutso deadline and have to get a script turned in, and there was no time to cook and even less time to go out to eat, I'd do what I used to call "To The Mattresses Cooking!  This is based on the scene in the first Godfather where Clemenza teaches Michael how to cook a huge kettle of pasta sauce for holed up members of the Corleone family.
   I kind of  adapted that philosophy. It's called around our house, "To The Mattresses Chicken." Over the years this easy, rapid way of making an oven baked version of non fried "fried" chicken became a standard. Paired with a green salad, or a nice cole slaw, it's a dish that keeps, is good hot or cold and once it's cooked, takes no time to whip up a quick meal.
 So, in the midst of my dental recovery I figured it would be a great way to fix a couple of easy meals in one fell swoop, meaning I start it , your sous chefs  aka"kitchen squirrels"  finish it. While it bakes the cook can go to bed and get much needed beauty rest. It's a fast simple chicken dish in a hurry and here's how it goes.
    The first step is skinning your chicken. Use whatever parts you'd like. Legs, wings, breast, it doesn't matter. Pour a cup or so of buttermilk over the skinned chicken and set it in the fridge from 1/2 hour to overnight to mellow.

Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the breading mixture.
  In a plastic bag or bowl mix together:
  1 cup of dried breadcrumbs finely ground
  1/2 cup of fine ground corn meal
  2 tsp of salt
  2 tsp of dried oregano
  1 tsp of baking powder
 A pinch of cayenne
 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
  Put the pieces of chicken into the bag and shake it until the chicken is well coated. 
Remove the chicken from the bag and place it on a baking rack set on top of a cookie sheet covered in foil. Spray the baking rack with non-stick spray. I give the chicken parts a little burst on non stick spray also.
    Pop it into the oven for about 45 minutes. Then hit the rack. Tell your little kitchen squirrels that they can take it out after 45 minutes and then they can eat. You do not need to be disturbed for this chicken.  Also remind them to turn off the oven before they enjoy their chicken or else you will pad out hours later in your fuzzy slippers to find that it's still on. Ovens do not turn themselves off!
   This goes well with almost anything, as I said cold or hot, slaw, beans, fries, salad..you name it. They can fix it. I settled on a simple salad of sliced tomatoes fresh from my neighbors garden (she gave them to me, I didn't climb any fences) with a bit of crumbled ricotta salata on top and the whole, drizzled with a bit of virgin olive oil and fresh ground pepper.

    Coming next, more gleaning! I went for figs this morning before my dentist appointment. I now have about 10 lbs of figs and there are preserves to make! My entire kitchen smells of autumn. Figs and apples. Intoxicating!


  1. You're back from the dentist! This chicken is wonderful.

  2. it's areal standby at our house..you can make a big batch or a small, futz around with the seasonings make it exactly what you want!

  3. I really want some figs more than anything. I am back in Boston with no hope of figs. Why doesn't the fig counsel have pity on me and send ME a flat of them. Oh wait, I don't live in California.

    I thought your mattress chicken was going to be chicken that you flattened in between the mattress or something like that.

    Oh man I am too tired. I better go to bed.

  4. Looks utterly delicious! I am loving it!

  5. I love make-ahead recipes like this. I hope you have recovered from your surgery!

  6. @Cookin'Canuck,
    thanks, I'm on the mend. I still can't eat "real" food though

  7. @Cool Lassi,
    thanks! glad you liked it.It'snot what I usually post about but these are "special"times.

  8. Great! I love this and no deep frying.

  9. @Penny aka jeroxie,
    Thanks, it's an amazingly easy dish to fix!

  10. This does look fantastic. I'm sorry that your surgery is still affecting your ability to enjoy such a delicious looking dish!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin