Sunday, May 29, 2011

Picnic Chicken

I was lucky enough to be invited to another wine tasting this weekend. Les was invited too, but he had to work, so I went solo. Our hosts, Beth and Scott were very generous in providing a bus to take us to and from the winery, and we all contributed a dish or two for a wonderful potluck after the tasting. The winery donated this tasting, and Beth and Scott purchased it at a silent auction for a charitable cause.
The bus took us to Burrell School Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. As you can probably guess from the name, the winery was built from an old school house. This is a smaller winery than the Savannah Chanelle winery we visited in the fall, so there wasn’t much of a grand tour. Burrell School is know for their Pinot Noir wines, so that’s what we tasted. The owner himself poured our wines for the tasting as he gave us a history of the winery and tasting notes for of all the wines.
The winery set us up on a private deck for our tasting and lunch. Once we finished the official tasting, we set out our food, bought a couple of bottles of wine to enjoy with lunch, and promptly scrambled under shelter as the skies opened up with a late May rain shower, but the rain didn’t stop us from having a great time! The owner found us some tables under shelter on another deck, so we could finish our meal.
As usual, this group brings the best food! Beth brought some sandwiches. We all decided that she is the sandwich queen. I had a salami, prosciutto and arugula sandwich that was delicious. We also had some stinky cheese, a veggie platter, chicken salad and fruit. Sandy brought some German potato salad she said was from a Bobby Flay recipe, and some brownies.
What did I bring? Well I brought Toffee Crunch Cookie Brittle cookies, and I got the best complement from Beth when she popped one in her mouth and said they were one of the best tasting cookies she had ever eaten. Nice!
I also brought this Picnic Chicken. I first made this recipe more than 16 years ago when I served it for my daughter’s first birthday party at the park. I love this chicken! It is great for picnics because it tastes as good at room temperature as it does warm. The coating is crisp and full of herby oregano flavor. The chicken was a big hit at the potluck (and at my daughter’s party). I love when I can dust off an old recipe for a new audience!
Picnic Chicken
Adapted from Chicken by James McNair
Printable Recipe
10 to 12 pieces of bone-in skin on chicken
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup milk
1 cup unseasoned fine dry bread crumbs
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tablespoons dried oregano
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two baking sheets by lightly greasing or spraying with cooking spray.

Stir together the milk and egg in a shallow bowl or pie plate and set aside. In another shallow bowl or pie plate combine the bread crumbs, cheese, oregano and ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
Lightly salt and pepper the chicken pieces, and dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture, and then into the bread crumb mixture. Pat the crumbs so they cling to all sides of the chicken.

Place the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheets and baking until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is lightly browned, about 35 to 40 minutes.

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