Southern Style Baked Chicken

Moist, Baked Chicken - Every Time.

There's something about waking into a home, a kitchen and greeted with the aroma of chicken savoury, aromatic pleasantness, baking away tenderly in the oven. It is that olfactory perception which will make our salivary glands work overtime and it is known to drive mankind, well, sort of crazy - and obsessed. That is the way I am with cooking chicken - in the oven. It has to turn out tender and moist every single time or the recipe is not worth a lick.

Tired of dried-out chicken?  Then this recipe is for you.

Southern folks know how to care for and cook just about all meats. That is, all that are in our neck of the woods. We may not know about elk or moose, but it can't be much different than our white-tail deer now can it? Poultry is our specialty, well maybe pork is too. There is a saying around here, "We had hen-houses before there were eggs."

This is an old recipe, cooked in so many homes across the south. When gardens are as new as the spring chickens, that's when this recipe is the best. Young onions with fresh small southern tomatoes make this chicken dish extra special. But it is the way in which it is prepared too, and with the just right seasoning, that when it all comes together baking tenderly in the oven, that aromatic pleasantness takes place. The one that drives us to a state of anticipation on the crazy side. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken with Spring Onions and Tomatoes

6 to 8 servings

1 young chicken cut-up, or your favorite chicken pieces (I used thighs)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 or 2 bunches spring onions (or pearl onions)
1/3 cup chicken broth
5 or 6 small ripe tomatoes, about 1 1/2 inch diameter

Southern Chicken Seasoning

1/2 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf

Wash and dry the chicken, remove excess fat. Mix the seasoning mixture together in a small bowl and sprinkle both sides of the pieces generously.

In a wide heavy skillet, melt butter with oil over medium high heat and when melted, add chicken pieces skin side down. Do not crowd the pan. Allow the chicken to precook, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove to a large casserole skin side up or deep baker and continue cooking chicken.

Add the onions to the skillet and allow each to brown in the butter mixture. Remove onions and place along with the chicken.

Add the chicken broth and cover dish with foil. Cook in oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove foil and scatter tomatoes which have been quartered among the chicken. Return to oven and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes blister.

Remove and serve. If desired, use the liquid to make a most wonderful gravy (roux method).

Note: You do not have to precook the chicken in the butter mixture as the chicken will still come out tender and moist. But doing so will not yield the golden, crispy browned skin that we southerners adore. The butter fried taste will be missing too.


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