If a man cannot or will not cook, he is not a man. All REAL men – manly men, if you will – know how to cook, and by cook I don’t mean scurry around a studio kitchen yelling “BAM!” and cooking stuff most ordinary chefs don’t cook, like that wretched little Emeril does on his stupid Food Network show. Honestly…what kind of serious chef has his own studio band, complete with an African-American Doc Severinsen? I learned to cook because my mother – God rest her soul – was a superb cook. When I moved out and lived on my own, I had no choice but to teach myself the arcane ways of the kitchen. And now I happily pass what I have learned along to you, gentle reader.
Some of my happiest boyhood memories are of coming home from a long Saturday outside (in those days, we occupied ourselves outdoors) to my mother’s special Breaded Chicken. The house was fragrant with the aroma and I made quick work of washing up before scampering to the table and addressing a plate filled with chicken, roast potatoes and a pile of salad with Italian dressing. The chicken was always moist, tender and incredibly flavorful and it wasn’t until many years later that Mama Marie shared her secret with me: before breading the chicken pieces, she coated them with a kind of batter made from mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, sweet white wine and a bunch of spices.
Last night I prepared this dish for Nicole after we got back from the Star of Bethlehem Dog Show in Allentown, PA. She loved it and so will you.
1 whole roaster chicken, cut into pieces (wings, drumsticks, thighs – remove breast meat from the bone)
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
Sweet wine wine
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs in a large bowl
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, cheese and spices. Then add wine a little at a time until the mayo mixture has the consistency of a runny batter. Dip each of the pieces into the batter and let excess drip off. Gently roll in the bread crumbs and then set on a cooling grid that has been placed on a cookie sheet. This will allow the pieces to cook evenly. Place in oven on middle rack and cook for one hour or until thickest parts of chicken register 170 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Serve with roasted potatoes and a garden salad.