Frying at home is not as much fun as the pictures and stories lead us to believe. Frying in professional kitchens works because they are designed for frying. There are temperature controlled fryers, hoods to suck away the fumes, and, if you're really lucky, a steward to clean them out at the end of the night. We do fry in our kitchen and over the years we have gotten cleaner and more efficient in the process, but I still do not find great pleasure in disposing of the used oil and cleaning up the mess. Also with Amaya eagerly circling the process, we shy away from hot kettles of oil on the stove.
That is why we recently revisited the classic concept of shake and bake chicken. We still cold smoke the chicken and brine it in spiced buttermilk. But instead of dredging in flour, we make fine crumbs out of of equal parts corn flakes and panko, and dredge the thighs in the mixture. Then we put a pat of butter under each thigh and put them skin side down in a foil lined pan. We cook the chicken at 400°F until it is just firm, turn off the oven and let the chicken rest for ten minutes.
The results are crispy, juicy, tender, smokey and tangy. When you want to avoid the fryer, this is the way to go. Heck, it may be the way to go even if you really liked frying because the results are delicious.