Sometimes the imitation can be just as good as the real thing. I found that out with my cauliflower fried rice a few months back, so I was eager to find another great example.
Baking 'fried' chicken has never gone perfectly for me in the past, but I loved the idea of adding corn flakes for the crunch in this Food Network recipe.
2 cups buttermilk
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pound chicken, cut into pieces(skin or no skin, your preference), rinsed and patted dry*
2 cups crushed corn flakes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
*I used four bone-in chicken thighs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Fit a sheet tray with a wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray. (Or if you don't have a wire baking rack, rig aluminum foil mini racks for each piece of chicken.)
Mix together buttermilk, lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add chicken and coat with mixture.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or up 12 hours.
Mix corn flakes, Parmesan cheese, and thyme together. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and dredge through the corn flake-Parmesan mixture, pressing to help it adhere.
Place on the wire rack-fitted sheet tray and bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp.
The results were, honestly, mixed.
While I love this marinade and the corn flake idea, the final product wasn't amazing. Perfectly fine, but not really a wow'em kind of meal.
The taste of the marinade and crust is great, but didn't really permeate the rest of the chicken.
If you're going for fried chicken, I still recommend you do the real thing:) Or you can play with this recipe a bit.
Next time, I'll probably crush the flakes even more finely and try this on chicken tenders that cook through easily.