I realize that we haven’t even started hitting the healthy cooking books or 80 recipe countdown yet. And I also understand that I’m still stuck on meat. However – It would be criminal if I didn’t divulge the simplest, best chicken baking recipe on the face of this Earth. For my taste – it’s easier and better than shake-n-bake. So anyway – here goes… line em up! (just like in the picture)
Ingredients include the following, all of which store well for long periods: [Spices last a long time, and frozen chicken (pre-thawed) will last effectively forever]
- Nutmeg, Paprika, Basil, Salt (NPBS – National Public Broadcasting System)
- Pre-thawed, cut chicken legs, thighs, and wings (see pictures below)
0. Preheat the oven to 415-F.
1. Put the parts into a baking pan (as shown above) and generously spice with paprika and basil. If you like how restaurant wings taste, then generously sprinkle with salt as well. If not, use less. You don’t need to be particularly accurate with spicing here. Just make it look like the picture above. Notice how I pulled the skin off the chicken here to reduce the fat content. Leaving skin on makes it taste better… but then there’s all that tasty fat to contend with.
2. Dust with nutmeg. Don’t use as much as the other three spices, but definitely hit the pan with a light dusting. I’ve been told that pregnant women shouldn’t eat nutmeg. Maybe an old wive’s tale, maybe not. I should also say that nutmeg really adds something to this recipe, so skipping it if unneeded will adversely affect taste.
3. Now roll the chicken parts around in all of that slurry of spices. Make sure that all sides, cracks, and crannies are covered. If the chicken parts are a bit dry, wet hands generously before rolling the parts around in the pan.
4. Put the baking pan in the oven – middle shelf – and cook for about 30-40 minutes uncovered. Check by cutting into a thigh or other thick piece of meat to determine if cooked all the way through. If the meat near the bone is pinkish and a bit bloody looking, then it probably needs more time in the oven.
5. Let cool – then eat. The thing that I love about this recipe is how great it tastes relative to how little work is involved. No need to marinate forever – just throw the spices on and cook – and BAM – it’s done!