By Guest Blogger Julia Chandler
Sunday after church was always the same growing up. A quick change out of church clothes if I was lucky, then my mom would load up her platter of deviled eggs and we would be off on a short drive to my Grandmother’s for Sunday dinner. All five of my uncles, their wives and all the cousins would be at my grandparents’ farm.
The afternoon was spent throwing horseshoes and letting kids jump out of the hayloft at the top of the barn. Ruby, my grandmother and an amazing Southern woman, fried chicken and prepared dish upon dish of Southern food for her family like it was her religious duty every Sunday afternoon. As a young child, I recall looking up to her tea ‘pot’ perched on the front corner of the electric stove. However, her tea pot was a stock pot full of sweet tea, enough for the crowd. Only the adults sat in the dining room, kids were lucky to get a seat at the small red kitchen table or any other open seat, to enjoy the meal before us. Trust me when I say this; I can taste the squash fritters and fried okra to this day, and Ruby’s chicken which was like no other, so much that I still crave it.
The art of Sunday supper, or Sunday Dinner, seems to slowly be fading into one of “those old Southern traditions”. Traditions from the past, fading but not forgotten. Just like the farm of my childhood, which is now a strip mall covering the areas where we played barefoot as a kid. Traditions, old and new. Change is good, although hard at times, we carry on. As long as we can all gather together at the table for a meal, one that nourishes our body, mind and soul, we will be doing okay.
The recipe below for Oven Crispy Chicken is one of my family favorites, and one that has received more reader feedback than any other recipe on my blog. It is perfect for the busy school nights about to arrive, or Sunday supper. Take an extra minute and set the table, you’ll be amazed the feeling this brings. Cut some flowers from the yard and yes, drag out real napkins instead of paper! Just a few things I wanted to share of the simple pleasures in my life. I hope it helps inspire you to enjoy the best of food and life, and maybe recreate the art of the Sunday Supper.r
And in case you did not grow up here and are scratching your head about the whole supper/dinner thing, Sunday dinner means lunch, and Sunday supper is dinner!
Oven Crispy Chicken
This is one my family’s favorite Sunday suppers! It is a taste of growing up for me, and now it will be for my children. The crispy skin is what everyone wants, so you might want to allow more than one thigh per person, especially because it is almost as good leftover.
2 split chicken breasts 1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 chicken thighs (I use skin on, bone in) salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour olive oil for drizzling
2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
¼ cup grated Parmesan
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil, and spray lightly with pan spray. Place flour, Adobo, parmesan and generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large paper grocery bag, or two plastic grocery bags. Using the bags is a neat and easy way to coat your chicken, plus no extra dish to wash. Combine ingredients with flour by lightly shaking together, but be sure to check bags for holes first!
Next, place pieces of chicken breast in bag, close the top, and shake well to coat chicken. Remove breasts, shaking off excess flour, and place on cookie sheet. Repeat process with chicken thighs. Once all chicken is on the pan, allow as much space as possible between pieces for ultimate crisping. Pieces should not be touching, and if so, use two pans. Lightly drizzle each piece of chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt and a little pepper over the top of the skin.
Bake for 50 minutes, to one hour. I always find one hour really gives the skin a good crisp while the chicken stays juicy and tender. Enjoy, and don’t forget to dip your choice of bread in those amazing pan drippings!
Julia Chandler is the owner of Julia’s Take Away Gourmet & Catering, a specialty foods & catering company. Julia considers herself very lucky to call her passion her career. The tag line of her blog is “Enjoy the best of food and life.”