Chicken is one of the most common cooking ingredients, and we often fall into boring habits when cooking it. You won’t get ‘boring’ here. Today, I cook crispy baked chicken, with a twist!
My recipe for golden crispy chicken contains two little tricks:
Firstly, I use a sharp knife to French trim the chicken legs, to give them a different look.
Secondly, the chicken legs are coated in a secret ingredient, baked in the oven until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, without a drop of oil.
So, what is the secret ingredient you might ask? Keep reading to find out!
I use a simple knife to take ordinary chicken legs from vulgar to perfectly presented.
Take a chicken drumstick and push and smooth the skin up from the ankle so that it covers as much of the meat as possible.
Cut the skin from the side of the small end of the chicken drumstick, about 2cm from the end, cutting right through the skin and muscle all the way around.
Use kitchen scissors to cut all the remaining muscles and ligaments so that the leg bone is exposed.
Take up your knife again and scrape the residual chicken skin and ligament tissue, pushing it towards the end of the bone.
Scrape until the joint is exposed. You will notice that the joint curves at the end. It is easiest to pull the skin and meat off in the direction of the curve.
Insert your thumb into the joint, and break the ligament and joint capsule.
Once the leg bone is exposed, use the scissors to trim the remaining ligaments and joint capsule. I have tried a few different methods and have found this to be the most effective.
Take a look at how these little chicken legs look now!
Now let’s talk about how to wrap this chicken in a crisp, golden coat.
In this recipe, the appearance of the chicken dominates, making the outside taste good, but detracting from the taste of the chicken meat itself.
We must not forget the inside! So, we’re going to marinate the chicken in a spicy mixture for a few hours before we coat the outside.
You can buy a variety of chicken seasonings in the supermarket, but my recipe using these simple ingredients, is packed with flavor. This amount is enough for 8 chicken drumsticks:
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Mix the above seasonings together, and rub over the surface of the chicken. Squash the legs down on the thickest ends, so they stand up straight on the tray.
Refrigerate for at least three hours, longer if you have time. The refrigeration will set them into this shape.
Now here comes the secret ingredient, corn flakes, the most common breakfast in Western countries. An easy and convenient option when you are still half asleep. Grab the bowl, pour in the cornflakes and fill it with milk. Down the cornflakes and rush out the door.
Cold milk is best to keep them crunchy, as you know, or hot milk will make the corn flakes go soggy pretty quick. If you can’t get corn flakes, you can use bread crumbs instead (Japanese panko bread crumbs are best), and pan fry them first until they are golden yellow and crisp.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius 20 minutes in advance.
Get yourself three small bowls.
Weigh three grams of corn flakes, crush them finely, and put them into one of the bowls.
Weigh 150g flour and add ½ teaspoon of salt and chili powder to taste, and put in the second bowl.
Beat two eggs in the third bowl.
Dip the chicken leg into the flour first to give it a thick layer of “foundation.” Pay attention so you apply the chicken’s foundation evenly or the whole makeup job will be ruined.
Ha ha! Shake off the excess flour, and dip the chicken leg into the egg, and then into the corn flakes.
Wrap the ends of the bones in aluminum foil. Stand the chicken legs up on a rack over an oven tray. Don’t put the chicken directly on the baking tray or the cooking juices will make the coating soft. Pop them into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes depending on the size of the drumsticks.
Leave the chicken legs to cool a little for 3-5 minutes so you can pick them up with your fingers. It’s a good thing we have two hands because you will want one in each! Enjoy!