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.
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.
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!