Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Baked Chicken and an Important Cooking Tip!

Baked chicken was one of the weekly staple meals in my family. We rarely had steak and if we did it, it was almost always London Broil, sliced thin. That was for special occasions or if it were on sale and Mom had double coupons. Otherwise, chicken was king in my family. We also had fish, but back in the 70's and 80's there wasn't a great selection of fresh fish in the supermarkets, usually just flounder, haddock, or cod. I actually enjoyed fish sticks and beer battered fish filets far more!

Chicken, cleaned and ready for baking!
This was my Mom's weekly recipe for baked chicken. Simple and flavorful. These days, one might not top it with butter, opting for a healthier approach. How about drizzling olive oil?  I opted for my Mom's recipe with the butter pats. It tasted SO good! I like the combination of spices, just enough pepper and paprika to give it a zing. We always used the cheaper cuts of chicken, dark meat. Special occasions called for mixing in the more expensive chicken breasts. Personally, I think legs and thighs have more flavor and tend to stay juicier.

While beginning the recipe, I thought back to a recent online argument about washing and preparing the chicken. Should you or shouldn't you rinse and trim the pieces? The old argument was that one should rinse the chicken to "clean" it off and trim the excess fat. Health advocates now argue against that as the water hitting the chicken sprays potentially dangerous bacteria like salmonella around your kitchen and possibly on yourself. I guess I am old school and decided to carefully rinse off the chicken pieces like my Mom did. Research it online yourself and make your own decision.

While rinsing off the chicken I had a mental block which I think deserves mentioning although I am opening myself up to embarrassment (what else is new).  Mom's recipe says, "Clean chicken." Now I know that there is a "cleaning" spray which you spray on fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides but wasn't there one for chicken? How do you clean chicken? Is there a cleaning agent or just water? Now I know I was drinking wine while cooking but I wasn't drunk, I just couldn't get past this mental block.

I decided to call my cousin Jennifer to ask her. My sister Sheryl was up at her home overnight in North Jersey so I figured I would have two great cooks to answer my question.  I called Jennifer and tiptoed around asking.

"Jennifer, um, when recipes say 'clean chicken', is there something you use to clean the chicken with like ... (My voice kinda of trailed off) ... soap?"
Chicken Soap
"What!?!? Marc! Are you kidding me!? Are you serious?!"  Jen exclaimed.
"Umm .. (carefully choosing my words) well I thought there was a cleaner like for vegetables and fruit."
"Sheryl! Your brother wants to know if he should use soap on chicken!" she yelled passing the phone.
"What?!?!?" exclaimed Sheryl into the phone. 
"I am having a brain fart!!! When we clean chicken, do we just rinse and trim or is there something I put on it?"
"Marc, are you kidding me? You don't use soap on chicken."
"I just was double checking. I figured you didn't but just wanted to DOUBLE CHECK!"
"You just rinse and trim the fat off the chicken, OK honey?" Sheryl stated firmly. "Don't use soap. Just don't use soap. OK?"

"For those not so fresh "fowl" smelling days."
For the record (which got lost in translation), I was referring to an agent like pesticide remover on veggies and fruit, to help remove the bacteria not realizing that it would be killed off by cooking.  Using soap was JUST an example. It was also an example of a typical "Marc" blond moment. Thanks though to my sister Sheryl and cousin Jennifer for helping to set the record straight

So guess what arrived just in time for Christmas from my cousin Jen?  Thanks Jen! A bar of chicken soap, no further explanation needed.

Mom's Baked Chicken


1. Clean chicken  (DO NOT USE SOAP -- Marc)
2. Pat dry
3. Put in glass or buttered baking pan
4. Add salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and or poultry seasoning
5. Top each piece with a pad of butter
6. Set oven to 350-375'F
7. Baste
8. Check after 1 hour then after, every ten minutes, do not overcook!


  1. What a hilarious BLOND moment would be relieved you DIDN'T USE SOAP! :-) ........hugs, Big Sis

  2. Now back to that London Broil! Don't you have to be in London to make it a "London" Broil? Otherwise it would be just a Broiled Steak, wouldn't it? All kidding aside, that sounds like a great recipes.

  3. Gee thanks Skip. :) It is a good basic recipe. One of Abby's favorites!

  4. I must meet Jennifer…she's got my kind of humor!

  5. I don’t suppose many of websites give this kind of information.Danny