Fat Chicken – The Other Other White Meat

First of all, I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all my dear readers, as I toast you with a glass of fine Glenlivet 18-year scotch while I write this humble missive.  Thanks for hanging around and reading my culinary ramblings for the past two years.

Okay, admit it – like us, you’re tired of always having turkey (or ham) for major holidays, but you don’t know what else would be a suitable substitute worthy of the occasion. I can cook a pretty mean turkey, but let’s face it, sometimes the same ole same ole gets a little … well … old.  So, what does our family do when this awful quandary presents itself?   We turn to fat chicken.  No, that’s not really the name of the dish, but it’s what we have been calling it for many years because that’s what you will be if you eat this recipe too often.  Lolly discovered it in a cookbook long ago, and it has been a family favorite ever since.

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Christmas in the Johnson household this year has been a modest affair – just me, Lolly and our 21-year-old son Alex gathered for a simple holiday dinner.  The fireplace is glowing, the ground outside is covered with snow (in Kentucky of all places!), and from our kitchen wafts the fragrant aroma of fat chicken.  Here is what you will need to make 4 servings:

  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated parmesan
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup dry white wine

Preheat your oven to 375. Melt the butter by whichever method is most convenient for you.  In a shallow dish (a pie plate works very well), mix the bread crumbs, basil, oregano, parmesan, garlic powder and salt.  Pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness of about ½ inch.  Dip them in the melted butter, then coat them in the bread crumb mixture and place them in a glass baking dish.  Keep the rest of your butter, as you will need it soon enough.

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Bake the chicken for about 45 minutes until it temps about 160. While that is in the oven, combine the reserved butter with the scallions, parsley and wine.  If the butter has begun to congeal, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds and it will be right as rain. When the bake time is finished for the chicken, pull it out and pour the butter-wine-herb mixture over the top like so:

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Then it’s back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes to finish and, voila!  You have fat chicken ready to serve to your nearest and dearest.  Plate it up with whatever traditional sides you would otherwise serve on your feast day, and munch it down with big happy grins all around.  Until next time, a very Merry Christmas to all, and eat well, my friends!

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