Momma’s Potato Flaky Chicken

Two facts. #1 – My momma makes the best damn oven fried chicken on the planet. #2 – My momma hates chicken.

Growing up, my momma always let it be known that she’d never even so much as sample a piece of chicken. It could be my uncle’s amazingly marinated bbq chicken, and she’d still scrunch her nose at it. She always had some kind of childhood grudge against it. However, this never stopped her from making it for her big time chicken-loving children. She somehow mastered the art of oven fried chicken, without oil. She did use a ton of butter, but that’s another story.The key was to use chicken drummies, surround them with tons of butter (à la Paula Deen), and coat them in instant mashed potato flakes. The combination of chicken, butter and potato flakes is a meal of it’s own. It’s something I highly associate with childhood comfort food and good cozy feelings. Mind you, my momma was a hard working woman, who often worked long late shifts. Food was comfort in our house, and there was always a lot outta nothin’.

A Workin’ Momma, 1991

So last night I attempted an unintendedly healthier version of the recipe. I am telling you folks, if I had the chicken drummies I would have made it just like Momma did. But since we run a chicken-breast-only house, I was left to deviate from the flavor I’ve loved for so long. Momma never made this with anything else but drummies, and for several reasons.

  1. Drummies are cheap.
  2. Drummies are quick.
  3. Drummies are easy to eat (no forks allowed, people!).
  4. Drummies have delicious fatty skin, which is my guilty pleasure.

Much to my delight though, these little suckers turned out deliciously. It was absolutely necessary for me to monitor the crispiness by adding coats of butter and flakes, but also well worth it. With oven baking chicken, there’s always a concern for soggy bottoms and burnt tops. To ease this, I used an oven grill pan, which helped a little. Momma’s drummies were never soggy, and always crispy, so I think I still have a ways to go. Like I said, in the case of this recipe, drummies > chicken breast.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 chicken breasts (or 6-10 raw and thawed chicken drumsticks)
  • 3 cups instant mashed potato flakes
  • 4 tbsp butter (for coating the pan)
  • 2tbsp melted butter (for drizzling)
  • season salt, allspice (to your liking.. or about 2tsbp)

Process:

1.Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
2. Whisk two large eggs in a bowl with season salt. Dip each chicken breast or drummies into the egg mixture.
3.  Sprinkle 2 cups of instant mashed potatoes onto a plate or into a bowl. Submerge and coat each piece of chicken into the flakes until fully covered.

4. Coat an oven pan with butter and lay chicken over top. Place in oven for 20 minutes.

5. At 20 minutes, remove chicken from oven, and drizzle a layer of melted butter over the chicken. If you’re using drummies, they will likely cook faster, so alter the cook time by 5-10 minutes between this and the next step. Sprinkle remaining cup of flakes over chicken, ensuring to coat any soggy areas with a new layer of flakes.

6. Place in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. If you’re using drummies, they will likely cook faster.
7. At 10 minutes, turn the oven to the highest broil setting. Allow chicken to broil for about 2-4 minutes, or until tops of flakes are a golden brown.
8. Remove from the oven and serve hot!

I also whipped up some potato gnocchi in olive oil and garlic, and steamed lemon peppered broccoli for the sides.

Almost perfect, but still not the same as momma’s.

Happy June!

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4 thoughts on “Momma’s Potato Flaky Chicken

  1. Nice variation of an old classic…might I suggest losing the griddle pan though and using pam butter flavor to coat the bottom or crisco butter flavored grease and keep the rest the same…..I never used eggs….interesting……

    • Now that I think of it, a cookie sheet is all you ever used. I used the egg because I know most recipes call for it if breading meat. Do you think it would be better to not use it? Maybe to avoid the sogginess?

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